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Arkansas Adoption Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Arkansas on
Q: Can I adopt my granddaughter that I have full permanent court ordered custody of and what do I have to do?

I had temporary custody for a couple months and then was given permanent by a judge. I have had custody almost 5 years now.

Dustin A. Duke
Dustin A. Duke answered on Aug 7, 2021

It would depend on the facts of your case. Was the custody order out of a juvenile case? Were the parents awarded any visitation? Have they been visiting with your granddaughter? Have they been paying you child support? If the parents haven't had any relationship with your granddaughter... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Arkansas on
Q: So my children’s father has two other kids that have been adopted out in the state of Arkansas. We have two ourselves.

I was informed that if we were to get married that the kids could legally become mines if we go through the adoption process . Can you tell me how that works

Joshua W. Bugeja Esq.
Joshua W. Bugeja Esq. answered on Jun 2, 2021

Your question is unclear. Arkansas has the Revised Uniform Adoption Act and you should start by looking there. Arkansas Code Annotated § 9-9-215 fully explains the "effect of decree of adoption."

Specifically, A.C.A. § 9-9-215(a)(1) states in part that, "Except with...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption, Appeals / Appellate Law and Child Custody for Arkansas on
Q: Can a termination of parental rights stand if there is insufficiency of process services?
Geoffrey D. Kearney
Geoffrey D. Kearney answered on May 10, 2021

As is so often the case in legal matters, it depends. Arkansas law, like that of many states, takes the obligation to serve a responding party quite seriously, and failure to serve can be a basis for reversal on appeal. However, Arkansas’ appellate courts are also strict about the circumstances... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Divorce for Arkansas on
Q: In a divorce can both parties give custody of a minor to a third party? minor does not live with either parent

My god daughter has been living with me for over 2yrs. Her parents are separated (for about the same amount of time) can they sign custody over to me in their divorce? Or does that have to be done separately?

James E Hensley Jr
James E Hensley Jr answered on Mar 8, 2021

It's called a guardianship and does require a Court action. You will do the divorce AND guardianship at the same time. Many Judges prefer two different actions. There is a lot going on in a guardianship. Many guardianships turn into adoption at some time. Parents often let the guardian (you)... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Arkansas on
Q: Can my nieces soon to be step dad adopt her without her biological father’s permission?

My brother has a daughter that he hasn’t been allowed to see or do anything for in 4 months since November of 2020. His ex is willfully keeping him from his daughter and she has since sent him voice messages saying her fiancé has signed the birth certificate or paternity paper. Can he receive... Read more »

Stewart Whaley
Stewart Whaley answered on Mar 5, 2021

He contact attorneys to discuss filing an action to establish paternity.

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2 Answers | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Arkansas on
Q: Father of my child wants to relinquish his parental rights. I am willing to accept sole responsibility, can I?

I am not married to the father of my child and As I understand the court system says I have to have someone to adopt my child; ie: boyfriend or husband. Why? I am willing and capable of taking full responsibility, I will establish a will with guardianship in case something happens to me and... Read more »

James E Hensley Jr
James E Hensley Jr answered on Jul 14, 2020

In Arkansas, you can adopt your own child. You don't need someone else to adopt the child for you or with you. Seems odd but you basically follow the adoption statute; i.e., you must be over 18, of sound mind, have no felonies on your record, be able to care for the child and a few others that... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Arkansas on
Q: My ex is unagreeable for my husband to adopt my daughter. We've been married 6 years.

He has not had any contract in 8 years. Is it possible this can end going in my ex's favor in court instead?

James E Hensley Jr
James E Hensley Jr answered on Jun 29, 2020

If a parent goes more than one year without seeing the child on a regular basis OR goes more than one year without paying any meaningful support, that parent's rights may be terminated. As such, your husband could adopt if:

He has a good relationship with the child for such duration he...
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1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Arkansas on
Q: My husband of 6 years wants to adopt my daughter. Her biological father hasnt seen her in 8 years.

Does he even have Case to fight us?

Paul Dumas
Paul Dumas answered on Jun 28, 2020

If your husband can successfully prove “abandonment” as defined in the Arkansas Code, the Court may grant a petition for adoption of his stepdaughter. You should consult an attorney knowledgeable in this area of law.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Arkansas on
Q: What would my best option be between getting emancipated or a transfer of guardianship?

I’m 17 (will be 18 in October) and completely finished with high school. I’m enrolled in college. I have a full time job and my house is almost completely finished for me to move into. My aunt has legal guardianship of me. Due to personal reasons, I no longer wish to be under her roof and wish... Read more »

Paul Dumas
Paul Dumas answered on May 26, 2020

Sounds like you should pursue emancipation.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Arkansas on
Q: My child is in DHS custody do I have the right to sign over my custody or let someone adopt him
James E Hensley Jr
James E Hensley Jr answered on May 14, 2020

Until the DHS case is closed it is doubtful any other action will be considered. I understand you want to get the child out of DHS involvement but filing such an action will not help you in the DHS case. Typically you will have an attorney appointed in the DHS case. If so, you probably don't... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Arkansas on
Q: How hard is it to do a step parent adoption without bio fathers permission

I had two children with my ex husband who draws ssi and is not required to pay child support bc of ssi. Our youngest was born in April 2012 and in May 2012 we separated when he left for work and never came back and I moved from Tulsa back to Arkansas. In october 2012 the divorce was final and he... Read more »

Stewart Whaley
Stewart Whaley answered on Jul 6, 2019

Bio dad must receive notice, at least, and it would be best to gain consent and a waiver. Since he has not had contact in so long, it is possible a judge would find it is in the children's' best interest to be adopted by stepfather, even if dad doesn't consent.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Arkansas on
Q: I have permanent custody of my grandson and would like to adopt him. His therapist suggested adoption due to his emotion

His therapist suggested adoption due to his emotional health when visiting with the father and other grandmother. My daughter has signed her rights away already. What would be the first step towards adoption, he is 7 yrs old.

James E Hensley Jr
James E Hensley Jr answered on Jun 18, 2019

In Arkansas, if the parents of the child go more than one year without a stable relationship with the child OR go one year without paying significant support OR their rights have been removed, you should be able to adopt.

We need to have the documents where the mother lost her rights....
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1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Arkansas on
Q: Can we legally adopt a child born in Memphis TN if we live in West Memphis AR?

A young lady who use to live in West Memphis, AR and moved to Memphis has agreed to allow us to privately adopt her baby. Is that possible??

James E Hensley Jr
James E Hensley Jr answered on Jun 6, 2019

The answer to your question is "yes." The issue is not where the child was BORN but where she LIVES right now.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Arkansas on
Q: After Adoption is finalized. Can Grandparents of the deceased biological parents sue for visitation rights?
James E Hensley Jr
James E Hensley Jr answered on Mar 6, 2019

An adoption severs all ties with the parent and their relatives. See Section (a)(1) below.

Ark. Code Ann. Section 9-9-215. Effect of decree of adoption.

(a) A final decree of adoption and an interlocutory decree of adoption which has become final, whether issued by a court of this...
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1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Arkansas on
Q: Can i legally adopt my own child?

I heard that i can legally adopt mine own child to end my ex rights. He hasn't seen her and won't pay support. When he does it was fews out of almost 5 1/2yrs. She now 7yr

James E Hensley Jr
James E Hensley Jr answered on Feb 23, 2019

The answer is "yes." In Arkansas it is called a single-parent adoption. It removes an errant father from the child's life. You may adopt your child provided:

1. You do not have any felonies on your record;

2. The father has gone more than one year without having a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Arkansas on
Q: If no father listed on birth certificate and he hasnt been in picture for year. Does he have to consent to sp adoption

Step parent adoption in arkansas. Can the adoption be done if he can not consent?

Arnab Kumar Banerjee
Arnab Kumar Banerjee answered on Jan 29, 2019

as per Arkansas adoption law if birth father abandoned the children, he cannot consent the adoption.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for Arkansas on
Q: Can a judge make it to where you can't get your birth certificate?

I am moving out of a bad situation at home an moving to Arkansas tomorrow, and I was just gonna order me a new copy of my Birth Certificate but I decided to look for my birth certificate anyways, and my mother told me when I was looking for it that they lost all the previous copies and said that a... Read more »

James E Hensley Jr
James E Hensley Jr answered on Aug 31, 2018

Typically, there is a new BC issued once you are adopted. If you are looking for your original BC, try the Arkansas Department of Human Services in Little Rock. You may also have to reopen your adoption case. It is sometimes difficult to reopen a case.

To answer your question, it was...
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1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Arkansas on
Q: My sons biological father isn’t on the birth certificate. Can my husband adopt him without his consent?

My son is 3 years old. My husband has been in my sons life since he was 9 months old. My sons biological father isn’t on the birth certificate, I have never received child support and we haven’t heard or seen him in over 2 years.

James E Hensley Jr
James E Hensley Jr answered on Jul 29, 2018

In Arkansas you will need the consent of the bio dad. Since he has not been in the child’s life and if his absence is voluntary then the court would most-likely hold that his consent is being withheld unreasonably and your husband should be able to adopt.

Make sure your husband has no...
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1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Arkansas on
Q: Can my husband have his parent rights terminated after 7 years no contact or child support?

My husband has been served paperwork. His ex-girlfriend's husband wants to adopt his biological daughter. The paper work says that he was classified as abandonment because he has not spoken with his daughter or paid child support in over 7 years. He has tried to see his daughter many times... Read more »

James E Hensley Jr
James E Hensley Jr answered on Jul 20, 2018

Get a real lawyer. You should not have to wait 3 weeks. Your husband will have some trouble but the mother will have some real trouble saying dad abandoned the child.

Jim Hensley

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Child Support for Arkansas on
Q: Can a ncp agree to sign over rights and not have to pay back child support in Arkansas?

My youngest son's dad just spent 65 days in jail due to non payment of child support. Within a few days of him getting out he contacted a family friend and wanted to get ahold of me And asked if I agreed to drop all back child support he would sign over rights to my son. Is this possible and... Read more »

James E Hensley Jr
James E Hensley Jr answered on Mar 19, 2018

This can be done with a single-parent adoption. It sounds odd but what you do is adopt your own child. This gets rid of the father and his rights. If the father will sign all the documents, we can get this done a few weeks. Fees are between $3ooo and $5ooo depending on what is needed.... Read more »

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