What does the new law do? As I mentioned above, adoptees that are at least 21 may request their adoption file from the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). However, the file is subject to redactions by birth parents. Forms are now available online for birth parents to edit their information in an adoption file. This means they may remove/edit their names as well as update their family history information, contact preference, and/or medical information. Birth parents can also request to be contacted by the adopted child directly, through a third party or not at all, although the ADH cannot guarantee that request will be followed. The request costs $100. Redaction forms may be found online at www.healthy.arkansas.gov or by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1-800-462-0599. Forms must be returned to the ADH Vital Records Department, State Registrar, 4815 West Markham St., Slot 44, Little Rock AR 72205.

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.

  • 9-9-801. Definitions – Clearly defines relevant terms, i.e., adoption file, genetic and social history, and requester.
  • 9-9-802. Birth parent redaction request and contact preference forms – Details that the ADH will have a form available on its website to be used by the birth parent to have his or her name redacted, whether or not a requester may contact the birth parent and the preferred manner. The forms must be made available to the public in hard copy format. This section also covers what the form should cover the procedures and requirements for birth parents to have the form. It also states that once the form has met all requirements and has been accepted by ADH that the former form on file be removed. Note: Only the former forms hard copy will be destroyed, an electronic copy will be kept.
  • 9-9-803. Access to adoption file – Once all requirements are met by the requester, the ADH will mail via certified mail the adoption file to the requestor. The file will redact the birth parent’s name and any other information if the proper forms under this act were filed.
  • 9-9-804. Immunity – This section grants immunity to an officer or employee of the Arkansas Department of Health that releases information contained in an option file or provides a copy of an adoption file to a requester. He or she will not be criminally or civilly liable to any person for injury, death or loss arising from the release of the information.
  • 20-18-305(1) [New Subdivision B] – A requester is as defined in 9-9-801 is authorized to obtain a certified copy of adoptee’s original birth certificate.

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.

Things are about to get better. Call us.

(479) 434-2414 Fort Smith • (479) 802-6560 NWA

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Fort Smith, AR 72901
Phone: (479) 434-2414
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Rogers, AR 72758
Phone: (479) 802-6560
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