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 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
  2. You will receive an email with information about our organization, fee structures, and a link for each inquiring parent to complete an online survey
  3. Individual surveys completed by both you and your partner
  4. Phone interview with Hopeful Adoptive Parent Education Team
  5. Adoptive Parent Committee will meet as a team to determine if you will be offered a position on the waiting list
  6. If you’re offered a spot, you will complete the intake paperwork
  7. Complete 10 hours of required education
  8. Complete a home study
  9. Submit profile book and video
  10. Continue education while you wait to be chosen by an expectant mom making an adoption plan


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 provided 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 and often don’t have the resources to accommodate.

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

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 25 adoptive families at once and generally see 20-25 adoptions completed each year. We ask adoptive parents to be emotionally and financially ready when signing on with Shared Beginnings. Our adoption match times have ranged from week 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 $24,000 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 (We work with AAAA attorneys)

– Travel and lodging expenses


Remember to check your eligibility for the Federal Adoption Tax Credit.