Although it’s 2020, there is still plenty of stigmas all over the country. Unfortunately, Arkansas can be particularly difficult to navigate when it comes to legal matters, family elements, and LGBT community involvement. What usually happens is adoption agencies claim to be the best source for adoptions, and then the LGBT community is simply shut out by these private institutions.
You can start the process by getting all of your documents and filings together while you’re on the search for a new addition to your family. An experienced attorney for LGBT adoptions in Arkansas can help with this process.
Overcoming Stigma and Finding the Right Agency
The LGBT community faced discrimination and stigma for decades. While it seems like it is a better time than ever to be part of the community, that doesn’t mean that everyone is accepting. In Arkansas, a state law that was recently passed allows private agencies, specifically adoption agencies, to choose who they do business with on any grounds.
Basically, that law gave free license to adoption agencies with “faith-based” values to refuse to even speak with LGBT members. If they suspect that you’re in a same-sex marriage, a trans person, or in some way affiliated with the LGBTQIA community, they can refuse to work with you.
The good news is you have options, and there are many agencies throughout Arkansas that are happy to work with LGBT members. Don’t waste time with someone who will turn you down because of their beliefs. Instead, shop around for the right agency.
Before you go to an appointment, ask if they are LGBT-friendly. Additionally, you can explore their testimonials to find an LGBT individual or couple that offered their review on their experience with that agency.
Adopting from a Friend, or Family Member
Adopting from a friend or a family member can be either the simplest or the most challenging method of adoption. In the best situation, the person is looking for someone to adopt their child and want to see the baby go to a person who wants a child and that they know.
In the worst situation, a friend or family member is not able to care for their child, and then you are left taking steps to take the child. An adopted child from a family member or friend who wasn’t able to care for them can make it difficult for the entire family. It doesn’t restrict the processor’s availability to adopt the child. However, you may need to involve the Arkansas Department of Family and Protective Services and CPS.
Finding Private Adoption Opportunities
When you’re looking for private adoption opportunities, you can go through an agency or look for other resources. National programs such as American Adoptions help people understand the process, and work with the professionals involved in adoption agencies and state agencies.
You’ll have any variety of options when it comes to finding private opportunities, but you need someone resourceful to help guide you. When working with an LGBT attorney, you can get access to various resources that you might not have known about without them.
What Documents Do You Need to Get Started
You’ll need a slew of documents for the adoption process, including your birth certificates, a marriage certificate, financial statements, medical letters, and more. For example, if you have a medical condition that requires frequent trips to a doctor or medication, then you would need a letter for something similar from your doctor explaining that it wouldn’t impair your ability to care for a child.
Other elements can include divorce documents if you separated previously, and police reports if you have those involved in the case. Police reports can be present when the report involves the biological parents, or the child is involved. But, you may also need to show a police report if you’ve previously been involved with certain situations such as a domestic violence call or investigation. Always be transparent with your documents.
Learn More About the Process with an Arkansas LGBT Adoption Attorney
With Eddington & Worley, anyone in the LGBT community can learn about their opportunities to adopt. We can help individuals and couples find the right agency for them, or work within a private capacity to finalize an adoption. Our team of legal professionals will go through the adoption requirements in Arkansas, as well as what to expect when finalizing the adoptions.
Contact Eddington & Worley to speak with a local Arkansas LGBT adoption law firm about your goals in expanding and building your family.