Adoptive Parent FAQs

The process of adopting can feel daunting. As a trusted and licensed agency in Arkansas, we’ve compiled a list below of the most frequently asked questions we hear as well as our answers for them. Contact us here for more information.

There are 3 types of adoption: open, semi-open, and closed. Each level refers to the amount of contact between the birth mother and the child post placement.

Open adoption involves direct contact and communication with the adoptive family as well as in person visits.

Semi-open involves some level of contact with between the adoptive family and the birth family but the specifics will be worked out individually.

Closed adoption means the adoptive parents and the birth parent(s) have no contact and often do not even exchange personal information.

We advocate for semi-open and open adoptions because these are the healthiest for both the adopted child and the birth family. However, expectant moms ALWAYS have choice in the level of openness with their child.

  1. Inquiry sent to Shared Beginnings or Adoption Arkansas
  2. Phone interview with Shared Beginnings or Adoption Arkansas staff member
  3. Intake paperwork
  4. Complete profile book and video
  5. Home study
  6. Education
  7. Wait!

There are several requirements to complete adoptions legally. Each state has their own laws and there are also international standards per country. Above that are steps taken to ensure things are completely ethical.

For example, in some states, separate representation for expectant mom and adoptive parents is NOT LEGALLY required. However, ethically, to avoid coercion, it is best practice to have separate legal counsel for both.

We offer independent home studies for families in Arkansas. We provide a safe environment for adoptive families and expectant mothers to build relationships and begin to get to know one another. Our staff members facilitate these relationships as needed and are always available to answer your questions or address any concerns that may come up.

Licensed adoption agencies have oversight through the state and are held to a high standard when it comes to ethically meeting the needs of expectant mothers. As a non-profit adoption agency, we provide for expectant mothers throughout pregnancy and even into life after placement. This is something independent attorneys in Arkansas are not required to do.

Follow the link below for questions you can ask your attorney or agency to be sure the process is as ethical as possible.

6 Questions to Ask an Adoption Professional

There are several factors that come into play when determining an adoptive family’s wait time. While we can’t guarantee a match in a specific amount of time, we only work with 20 adoptive families at once and generally all are chosen within a year. We ask adoptive parents to be emotionally and financially ready when signing on with Adoption Arkansas and Shared Beginnings. Our adoption match times have ranged from day of intake to 14 months after intake.

We strive to keep costs as low as possible for adoptive families while also providing for the needs of the expectant mothers. To make things more convenient, we charge a flat rate of $21,000 which includes:

Expectant mother expenses housing, transportation, groceries, clothing, and legal representation

Home study for Arkansas families

Full suite of support services for expectant/birth mothers led by a licensed social worker (access and follow-up to prenatal appointments, counseling, and connection to community resources such as our work ready program)


In addition, you can expect to incur the following costs:

– Your legal representation

– Travel and lodging expenses


If you’re wanting more information about adopting through Shared Beginnings or are ready to schedule a phone interview, contact us today!