Arkansas Adoption Laws:  A Legal Voyage into the Bizarre

Arkansas Adoption Law is a funny thing.

You’ve probably heard of strange local laws around the United States. You may already know that dominoes are prohibited on Sundays in certain parts of the country. Similarly, wearing a fake mustache that causes laughter in church is illegal in Alabama. And right here in Arkansas, no alligators are allowed in bathtubs.

The law can bring about some bizarre situations even outside of those infamous weird laws. In the adoption world, there is one bizarre situation brought about by the law that takes the cake.

When a man and woman are married, any child born by the women is automatically assumed to be the child of her husband. Even if they have been separated for years. Even if he’s in prison. Even if he moved to California to kick off his acting career, leaving her behind. The state assumes marriage means monogamy.

Now, let’s say this woman decides to place her child for adoption. She can profess all she wants that the father of the child is right next to her and willing to sign the decree but the state simply will not care. Because to the state, the father is not the father, the husband of the mother is.

So for the adoption professional, the task then becomes to find the husband and ask for his consent to the adoption of the child of his wife and her lover. Awkward.

Law has forever been associated with straightforwardness and structure, even so, sometimes legal things just get weird.