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Adoption Age Requirements


Jul 30, 2008

Stephanie Jackson

KARK 4 News

Wednesday, the Department of Human Services said they're changing some age requirements for adoptions.

Adoptive applicants must be at least 21 years of age and an adoption specialist will assess each prospective adoptive parent's ability to actively parent the child or children they want to adopt.

Also, DHS wants at least a ten-year difference, and no more than a 45-year difference, between the child and the adoptive parent. DHS regulations had said no one over 40 can adopt a child under the age of one, and no one over 55 can adopt any child in state care.

This change comes after a Little Rock couple challenged whether it was constitutional to limit who can adopt based on age. A federal judge sent the case back to state court because the couple's appeal was still being heard in state court. Also, the biological mother's rights had not been terminated.

DHS also says several other states have age requirements for adoption: Louisiana and Mississippi have a max age requirement of 65. Some other states recommend a maximum age difference between child and parent (District of Columbia, 45 years; Idaho, 40 years; Maryland 45 years; Massachusetts, 40 years; Michigan, 50 years; New Mexico, 40 years; Virginia, 45 years)


2008 Jul 30