Arkansas foster care and adoption guidelines
Thank you for considering becoming a foster or adoptive parent for children in the Arkansas foster care system. Your desire to share your love and your life as a foster or adoptive parent will create permanency for children intended to last a lifetime. At any time, please feel free to contact the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services at 888-736-2820.
On this page:
- Foster and adoption licensing requirements
- Costs for fostering and adopting
- Agency contact and orientation information
- Information on Arkansas' children
- Post-adoption support services
Remember, you don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent for children in care.
Our mission is to keep children safe and help families. Foster homes and adoptive homes must meet the same licensing standards. For more information about licensing requirements or about the process to become a foster or adoptive parent, please visit our website, Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services.
If you choose the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) as your agency, there is no fee to foster. For more information, please visit FosterArkansas.org. If you choose a private agency, the private agencies are allowed to charge fees. Please ask the individual agency.
Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is a public adoption agency and does not charge a fee to apply for adoption or for placement of a child. You would be responsible for any fee for a medical examination that is required during an adoption assessment or home study. If you have lived in Arkansas for less than six years, you would be responsible for a fee for a FBI criminal record check. Most of the legal fees to finalize an adoption may be paid by an adoption subsidy for an eligible child. If you choose a private agency, the private agencies are allowed to charge fees. Please ask the individual agency.
When families adopt children who are in foster care and eligible for subsidy, the families may be eligible for reimbursement of limited nonrecurring adoption-related costs, such as attorney’s fees and court fees, through the child’s State and federal options.
For more information, visit the Arkansas Heart Gallery.
For more information on fostering and adopting in Arkansas please complete the Arkansas foster and adopt inquiry form or call us at 888-736-2820.
You can also contact the Child Welfare Information Gateway for information about Arkansas children in care or call 800-865-0225.
Learn about the support available to families who adopt in your state:
- Contact your county human services office for referral.