Arkansas Adoption Code
As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) "Adoptee" means a person who has been legally adopted in this state;
(2) "Administrator" means the person charged with maintenance and
supervision of the registry and may include the administrator's agents,
employees, and designees;
(3) "Adoption" means the judicial act of creating the relationship of
parent and child where it did not exist previously;
(4) "Adoptive parent" means an adult who has become a parent of a child
through the legal process of adoption;
(5) "Adult" means a person twenty-one (21) or more years of age
(6) "Agency" means any public or voluntary organization licensed or
approved pursuant to the laws of any jurisdiction within the United States
to place children for adoption;
(7) "Birth parent" means:
(A) The man or woman deemed or adjudicated under laws of a
jurisdiction of the United States to be the father or mother of genetic
origin of a child; or
(B) A punitive father of a child if his name appears on the original
sealed birth certificate the child or if he has been alleged by the birth
mother to be and has in writing acknowledged being the child biological
father. A putative father who has denied or refused to admit paternity shall
be deemed not to be a birth parent in the absence of an adjudication under
the laws of a jurisdiction of the United States that he is the biological
father of the child;
(8) "Genetic and social history" means a comprehensive report, when
obtainable, on the birth parents, siblings of the birth parents, if any,
other children of either birth parent, if any, and any parents of the birth
parents, which shall contain the following information:
(A) Medical history;
(B) Health status;
(C) Cause of and age at death
(D) Height, weight, eye colors and hair color
(E) Where appropriate, levels of educational and professional
(F) Ethnic origins; and
(G) Religion, if any;
(9) "Health history" means a comprehensive report of the child's health
status at the time of placement for adoption and medical history, including
neonatal, psychological, physiological, and medical care history;
(10) "Mutual consent voluntary adoption registry" or "registry" means a
place provided for in this subchapter where eligible persons may indicate
their willingness to have their identity and whereabouts disclosed to each
other under conditions specified in this subchapter;
(11) "Putative father" means any man not deemed or adjudicated under the
laws of the jurisdiction of the United States to be the father of genetic
origin of a child who claims or is alleged to be the father of genetic
origin of the child.
History. Acts 1985, No. 957, 1; Acts 1987, No.
A.S.A. 1947, 56-138.
9-9-504. Registry - Operation.
(a)(1) The adult adoptee, and each birth parent and each individual
related within the second degree whose identity is to be disclosed, may
voluntarily place his name in the appropriate registry by submitting a
notarized affidavit stating his name, address, and telephone number and his
willingness to be identified solely to the other relevant persons who
(2) No registration shall be accepted until the prospective registrant
submits satisfactory proof of his identity in accord with regulations
specified in 9-9-503.
(3) The failure to file a notarized affidavit with the registry for any
reason, except death, shall preclude the disclosure of identifying
information to those persons who do register.
(4) The failure of any of the persons described in this subsection to
file a notarized affidavit with the registry for any reason, except death,
shall preclude the disclosure of identifying information to those persons
who do register.
(b)(1) Upon registering, the registrant shall participate in not less
than one (1) hour of counseling with a social worker employed by the entity
that operates the registry; if a birth parent or adult adoptee is domiciled
outside the state, he shall obtain counseling from a social worker employed
by a licensed agency in that other state selected by the entity that
operates the registry.
(2) When an eligible person registers concerning an adoption that was
arranged through an agency which has not merged or otherwise ceased
operations, and that same agency is not operating the registry, the entity
operating the registry shall notify, by certified mail within ten (10)
business days after the date of registration, the agency which handled the
(c) In any case where the identity of the birth father was unknown to the
birth mother, or where the administrator learns that one (1) or both birth
parents are deceased, this information shall be shared with the adult
adoptee. In those cases, the adoptee shall not be able to obtain identifying
information through the registry, and he shall be told of his right to
pursue whatever right otherwise exists by law to petition a court to release
the identifying information.
(d) The following shall be matching and disclosure procedures:
(1) Each mutual consent voluntary adoption registry shall be operated
under the direction of an administrator.
(2) The administrator shall be bound by the confidentiality requirements
of this subchapter and shall be permitted reasonable access to the registry
for the purposes set forth in this subchapter and for such purposes as may
be necessary for the proper administration of the registry.
(3) A person eligible to register may request the administration to
disclose identifying information by filing an affidavit which sets forth the
(A) The current name and address of the affiant;
(B) Any previous name by which the affiant was known;
(C) The original and adopted names, if known, of the adopted child;
(D) The place and date of birth of the adopted child; and
(E) The name and address of the adoption agency or other entity,
organization, or person placing the adopted child, if known. The affiant
shall notify the registry of any change in name or location which occurs
subsequent to his filing the affidavit. The registry shall have no duty to
search for the affiant who fails to register his most recent address.
(4) The administrator of the mutual consent voluntary adoption registry
shall process each affidavit in an attempt to match the adult adoptee and
the birth parents or individuals related within the second degree. The
processing shall include research from agency records, when available, and
when agency records are not available, research from court records to
determine conclusively whether the affiants match.
(5) The administrator shall determine that there is a match when the
adult adoptee and a birth parent or individual related within the second
degree have filed affidavits with the mutual consent voluntary adoption
registry and have each received the counseling required in subsection (b)
of this section.
(6) An agency receiving an assignment of a match under the provisions of
this subchapter shall directly or by contract with a licensed adoption
agency in this state notify all registrants through a direct and
confidential contact. The contact shall be made by an employee or agent of
the agency receiving the assignment. The employee or agent shall be a
trained social worker who has expertise in post-legal adoption services.
(e)(1) Any affidavits filed and other information collected shall
be retained for ten (10) years following the date of registration.
(2) Any qualified person may renew his registration at ten-year
(f) A mutual consent voluntary adoption registry shall obtain only
information necessary for identifying registrants. In no event shall the
registry obtain information of any kind pertaining to the adoptive parents
or any siblings to the adult adoptee who are children of the adoptive
(g) All costs for establishing and maintaining a mutual consent
voluntary adoption registry shall be obtained through users fees charged to
all persons who register.
History. Acts 1985, No. 957, 7; Acts 1987, No.
1060, 5, 6.
A.S.A. 1947, 56-144.
9-9-505. Compilation of nonidentifying history.
(a) Prior to placement for adoption, the licensed adoption agency or,
where an agency is not involved, the person, entity, or organization
handling the adoption shall compile and provide to the prospective adoptive
parents a detailed, written health history and genetic and social history
of the child which excludes information which would identify birth parents
or members of a birth parent's family and which shall be set forth in a
document that is separate from any document containing such identifying
(b) Records containing the nonidentifying information and which are set
forth on a document that is separate from any document containing
(1) Shall be retained by the agency or, when no agency is involved, by
the person, entity, or organization handling the adoption, for ninety-nine
(99) years. If the agency or person, entity, or organization who handled
the adoption ceases to function, that agency or intermediary shall transfer
records containing the nonidentifying information on the adoptee to the
Department of Human Services except that a licensed agency ceasing operation
may transfer the records to another licensed agency within this state, but
only if the agency transferring the records gives notice of the transfer to
the Department of Human Services; and
(2) Shall be available upon request, throughout the time specified in
subdivision (1) of this subsection, together with any additional
nonidentifying information which may have been added on health or on genetic
and social history but which excludes information identifying any birth
parent or member of a birth parent's family or the adoptee or any adoptive
parent of the adoptee, to the following persons only:
(A) The adoptive parents of the child or, in the event of death of the
adoptive parents, the child's guardian;
(B) The adoptee upon reaching the age of eighteen (18) years;
(C) In the event of the death of the adoptee, the adoptee's spouse as
the legal parent of the adoptee's child, or the guardian of any child of the
(D) The birth parent of the adoptee.
(c) The actual and reasonable cost of providing nonidentifying health
history and genetic and social history shall be paid by the person
requesting the information.
History. Acts 1985, No. 957, 8; Acts 1987, No.
A.S.A. 1947, 56-145.
9-9-506. Disclosure of information.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the information acquired
by any registry shall not be disclosed under any sunshine or
freedom of information legislation, rules, or practice.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person, group of
persons, or entity, including any agency, may file a class action to force
the registry to disclose identifying information.
(c) In exceptional circumstances, specified papers and records pertaining
to particular adoptions may be inspected by the adoptee, the
adoptive parents, and the birth parents if the court granting the adoption
finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that good cause exists for
History. Acts 1985, No. 957, 4;
A.S.A. 1947, 56-141.
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