One of the most common types of adoption is a stepparent adoption. Often times, and for many reasons, one parent is no longer in a child’s life – or not very often. In Arkansas, when a stepparent asks the court to grant an adoption of the stepchildren, the permission of the natural parent isn't required if that parent has not, without justifiable excuse, either (1) had significant contact with the minor child(ren) for a period of at least twelve months, or (2) paid child court-ordered child support to the custodial parent for a period of at least twelve months.
An “open adoption” is one where the adoptive family knows one or both of the biological parents, and the parents often play some role in the child’s life as they grow up. These types of adoptions are typical in family adoptive situations, such as when the grandparents will adopt the baby of a young mother, or when a parent has passed away and that parent’s relatives step in to help raise the kids. However, even adoptive parents who don’t yet know the natural parents can establish an open adoption, if that is desired by both parties. We can help you make the decision that is best for your family.
An “closed adoption” is one where neither the adoptive parents nor the natural parents know the identity of the other. Often, hospital staff of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), along with the attorney(s) involved in the case, can act as intermediaries in order to facilitate the introduction of the adoptive parents and child, as well as any home studies or other services which may be required by the court. As with all adoption proceedings, closed adoption records are sealed with the court, and may only be opened and viewed with a court order.