There has been a bit of confusion regarding the new adoptee right’s law in Arkansas that became effective August 1, 2018. Act 519 became law in March 2017 giving adoptees the ability to request their files if they are at least 21 years of age starting August 1, 2018. Many people believe that adult adoptees (those that have been adopted) have an unrestricted right to obtain their own original birth certificates, but the new law does not give adoptees unrestricted rights. What the new law does do is significantly change how an adult adoptee may request and obtain an original birth certificate. An adoptee is now able to request his or her “adoption file”. This file is an Arkansas Department of Health file containing the adoptee’s original birth certificate and the adoption decree. File inclusions can vary depending on the adoption.
To submit a redaction request, a birth parent must show proof of identity, submit a notarized form and update their genetic or social history. A form cannot be submitted by one birth parent for another.
Written requests for adoption files will be accepted by adoptees or, upon their death, a surviving spouse or a guardian of their child. That request must be notarized and include proof of their identity. There is a $100 fee to process an application for adoption files.
New subsections also go along with the new law.
Adoption and any information pertaining to an adoption are sensitive matters to all involved. Kevin Hickey Law Partners can help you navigate through the new law and help you from beginning to end. We can assist in the initial filings and be with you all the way through the entire process whether you are the adoptee or a birth parent. Contact us today.