Arkansas Adoption Services has certain requirements of the adopting family. We are looking for friendly outgoing families who: are willing to share pictures and/or videos; have good communication skills; are able to deal with emotional ups and downs; can handle unexpected birth mother expenses; and are willing to trust us and our judgment and the judgment of our local doctors during stressful times. Though 90% of our adoptions are closed, in some instances the birth mother will request a couple that will consider an open adoption. Based on over 30 years experience, I have come to realize that it is important to have a wide variety of adopting couples because the success of an adoption depends on a proper matching of adopting parents with the birth mother. Even though a couple may be very impressive, they might not fit into the program because we have an overabundance of couples with similar qualities and adoption preferences. Most birth mothers are not structured people and dealing with them requires a great deal of flexibility. Our office can only work with flexible and understanding adopting parents. This requirement cannot be overstated.
In addition to our firm’s requirements, the State of Arkansas requires that the adopting parents’ fingerprints be cleared by the State Police of Arkansas and the FBI if they have been a resident for less than six years. This procedure takes two to three weeks and costs approximately $60.00 per person. Our office assists in this procedure for Arkansas residents. Residents of other states will need assistance from their home-study provider. The State of Arkansas requires a home study for the adopting couple. You may select an approved agency, psychiatrist, psychologist, or a licensed social worker to do the required home study.
Adoption Laws Vary State to State, County to County
The legal process is often one of the most intimidating, yet important, factors of an adoption. Just as every adoption story is unique and varies, so does adoption law. Adoption laws can vary from state to state, and often from county to county. This is why it is important to utilize a lawyer with specialized adoption experience.
While some families have an attorney friend, or a personal lawyer that they would like to use to finalize their adoption, it is not recommended that they use a lawyer unfamiliar with adoption procedures or law. Seeking advice from an attorney not familiar with the intricacies of adoption law can often lead to delays or complications when finalizing the adoption. At the Kelley Law Firm, our first priority is to ensure that each adoption is legally secure, making the adoption process as seamless and smooth as possible.
When selecting an adoption lawyer, consider the following:
- Because the laws governing an adoption are typically those of the state in which the baby is born, adoptive families pursuing an interstate adoption should not seek the advice of a lawyer from their home state. Often times, attorneys unfamiliar with adoption law, or other state’s adoption laws, will not have the knowledge or expertise to provide correct legal advice. In many adoptions, an attorney is not needed in the adoptive family’s state because no legal proceedings will take place there, therefore an adoptive family’s state laws will have little or no effect on their adoption.
- Adoptive families often seek advice from lawyers with little, or no, adoption experience, such as those who practice family law, those who have been involved in just a few agency adoptions or those who have performed a limited number of public state adoptions. Unfortunately, these lawyers often times do not have the expertise needed to provide correct advice for cross-state adoptions. Adoption procedures vary not only from state to state, but also from county to county. The legal practice in adoption is never as easy as simply following the state statute. Each court system looks for and requires different things. Less qualified private adoption attorneys often cause serious delays in terminating parental rights and finalizing the adoption. Most overturned adoptions are the result of slow or incompetent legal work.
Just as physicians specialize in specific types of medicine, attorneys specialize in certain types of legal matters. It is the focus of the Kelley Law Firm to provide adoptive families with sound legal advice and legally secure adoptions. While the adoption process can often be a long, bumpy road, it is important to ensure that all legal requirements are satisfied to ensure a successful adoption. The importance of utilizing an attorney with the proper adoption knowledge should not be overlooked when completing an adoption journey.
What does a private adoption service do?
As a private adoption service, Gene Kelley has established a time-tested advertising and networking program that brings prospective adopting parents and birth parents together. A private adoption can eliminate long waits for birth parents and a lot of uncertainty and concern for birth mothers.
Why choose a private adoption with Eugene Kelley’s Arkansas Adoption Services?
Our program is based on speed and service. We place a baby every eight to nine days. We advertise in more Yellow Page directories than any other adoption agency or adoption attorney in the state of Arkansas. During the past 35 years, Gene has helped more than 900 families adopt children. More than 80 percent of these families adopted within the first year.
Our firm is also recommended in the best-selling adoption book Adopting in America by Randall B. Hicks. Look for it on page 165. His book is subtitled “How to Adopt Within One Year” and gives a description of our services. He endorses the leading adoption service in each state, and we are recommended as a recognized adoption attorney in Arkansas. Our firm is also recommended in the book Adoption: Insights, Inspiration & Information by Mary E. Fitzpatrick, M.Ed., Paralegal.
Why consider an Arkansas adoption?
In Arkansas, a birth mother may give up her parental rights before the baby’s birth. After the child is born and the court documents are filed, she has 5 days to change her mind. On the 6th day the adoption is final. The birth mother cannot revoke her consent unless she was tricked by fraud or deceit. Many states require a longer waiting period – often as long as 30, 60, or 90 days – which can be difficult for adopting parents.
You can adopt in Arkansas if either the birth mother or the adopting parents are residents of the state. The birth father must register with the state before the adoption. Otherwise, he has no rights. If the birth mother is married, we must have the written consent of the husband. This is true even if he is not the father of the child.
Who else works in the office?
Arkansas Adoption Services is part of the Kelley Law Firm. Joye Kelley, our office manager, helps Gene provide excellent service to our birth mothers and adopting couples.
What types of adoptive couples do we seek?
Our firm has certain requirements of the adopting couple. We are looking for friendly, outgoing couples who are willing to share pictures and/or videos and have good communication skills. Adopting couples have to be able to deal with emotional ups and downs and can handle unexpected birth mother expenses. They also have to trust us and our judgment and the judgment of our local doctors during stressful times. In some instances the birth mother will request a couple that will consider an open adoption.
Based on 35 years of experience, I have discovered that it is important to have a wide variety of adopting couples because the success of an adoption depends on matching the right adopting parents with the right birth mother. Even though a couple may be very impressive, they might not fit into the program because we have an over abundance of couples with similar qualities and adoption preferences. Most birth mothers are not structured people and dealing with them requires a great deal of flexibility. Therefore, our office can only work with flexible and understanding adopting parents. This requirement cannot be overstated.
How many clients do you have waiting to adopt?
Usually, we work with 18 to 25 families that are in the search phase. By working with relatively few families, we can develop a personal relationship with our clients and be more sensitive to their individual needs. After all, the better we know you, the easier it is to connect you with the right birth mother.
What are the first steps in the adoption process?
To learn more about the adoption process, we offer an initial three-hour informational conference. The prepaid fee for this conference is $500.00. If you decide to go forward with our adoption services, this fee will be credited to the adoption program selected by you. To start and schedule your three-hour conference please contact us.
What does the State of Arkansas require to complete an adoption?
The state of Arkansas requires a home study for the adopting couple. You may select an approved agency, psychiatrist, psychologist, or a licensed social worker to do the required home study. The state of Arkansas requires that the adopting parents’ fingerprints be cleared by the Arkansas State Police and the FBI if they have been a resident for less than six years. This procedures takes two to three weeks and costs approximately $60.00 per person. Our office assists in this procedure for Arkansas residents. Residents of other states will need assistance from their home-study provider.
What services does your office provide?
We will help you adopt through advertisements in telephone Yellow Pages in about 50 communities in the state, numerous word-of-mouth referrals based on my reputation as an adoption attorney, and a newspaper advertising network. We place and monitor all advertising. We also select and screen birth mothers to ensure their suitability. Then we help locate and select a doctor and a hospital as well as find lodging for the adopting couple for their stay in Arkansas. We provide pictures to the birth mother and help with any other needs of the birth mother and the adopting couple. To accomplish all of this requires close coordination between the adopting couple, the birth mother and our staff.
Do your adopting parents have to work independently to find a birth mother?
No. Our program is set up for the adopting couples and the adopting couples on a networking basis. Gene does the outreach and screening of birth mothers for his clients. Through a great network of advertising and word-of-mouth referrals, we receive three to four calls from prospective birth mothers every week.
How do your birth mothers contact our family?
Birth mothers respond to our advertising by talking either directly to the couple or to Gene. A “Dear Birth Mother” letter will be given directly to our birth mothers and will help them learn a little about you and your lifestyle. If a birth mother feels comfortable with your family, we encourage her to talk to you on the telephone. Then a face-to-face visit is arranged before anyone makes a commitment.
What if we do not like the birth mother after we speak to her?
For adoption to be stress-free, all of you must be excited about each other. Adoption is a mutual decision – both the birth mother and the adopting family must be happy with the arrangement. We encourage you to pass on a situation that is not quite right for you. If you decide not to work with the birth mother even after meeting her, we will, of course, continue assisting you with the matching process.
If we do enjoy talking with the birth mother, how would we pursue the adoption?
The next step would be to meet the birth mother. We feel that speaking in person is a very important step in the adoption process. If both parties are interested in proceeding, we will arrange for the birth mother to have a medical screening, which will include drug and HIV testing. We will also structure a financial plan which will address her financial support and medical bills.
Who does Eugene Kelley represent?
Gene represents the adopting family. Our adoptions are finalized solely under the laws of the state of Arkansas. Gene is a licensed attorney with more than 35 years of experience with adoptions, and he will take care of all the legal aspects of the Arkansas adoption. If a second attorney is required because the birth mother needs representation, Gene can make recommendations for a qualified independent local attorney.
I have more questions. Where can I get them answered?
Feel free to call us at 1-479-636-8013 or email@example.com. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the adoption process.