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Juvenile Issues

What is the Mutual Consent Adoption Registry?

Each licensed adoption agency in Arkansas is allowed by law to establish an adoption registry. Qualified persons may register to be identified to each other or to receive non-identifying information about the genetic, health and social history of adoptees placed by their agency. The Arkansas Mutual Consent Voluntary Adoption Registry (MCVAR) is operated by the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS). (This agency has previously been known as the “Welfare Department” or “Social Services”.)

How Does the Registry Work?

If you are a qualified person and you want to be identified to your birth relatives, you must register to do so. In order for identification to take place the birth relatives must also register their consent to be identified to you.
When your registration is received, the Registry Coordinator will search the files to determine if the other persons you want to be identified to have registered. You will be informed of the outcome of the search. If they have not, your registration will be held on file. Each time a new registration comes in, the files will be searched to determine if there is a match. It may take years for the relatives you want to be identified to register or they may never register. However, if a match does occur you will be contacted by the Registry Coordinator.

Please note that registration is a voluntary act and the Registry Coordinator will not contact eligible persons to ask them to register.

If you are a qualified person and you want to receive information about the genetic, health and social history of the adoptee, you must also register to request this information. Upon receiving your registration the Registry Coordinator will search the agency adoption records for information about the background of the adoptee. The information will not identify any birth or adopted relative of the adoptee. If available, a comprehensive report will be forwarded to you.

Any qualified person may choose to remove his or her name from the registry at any time by filing a notarized affidavit with the registry.

Who Is Qualified to Register?

The adoption must have been arranged by the Division of Children and Family Services or an Arkansas-licensed adoption agency that has transferred its registry to DCFS.

To identify yourself to your birth relatives, you must be:

  • An adult adoptee at least 18 years old. 
  • A birth parent of an adopted child.
  • A birth grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin or sibling of an adoptee.

To get an adoptee’s genetic, health and social history, you must be:

  • An adoptee who is at least 18 years old.
  • A birth parent of an adopted child.
  • The adoptive parents, or in the event of their death, the adopted child’s guardian.
  • The legal guardian of any child of the adoptee.
  • Any child-welfare agency having custody of the adoptee.

If the adoptee is dead, his or her children and widow or widower can also register to sign up for this information. So can the guardian of any child of the adoptee.

If you are not sure that your adoption was arranged by the state of Arkansas, you can still register. Also, you may contact other licensed adoption agencies about registration.

How Do I Register?

To register to be identified to your birth relative(s) you must complete an Affidavit/ Registration form (see below), attend a one hour counseling session, and pay a fee of $20.00. The minimum one hour of counseling must be provided by an Adoption Specialist who is employed with DCFS, if you live in Arkansas; the Registry Coordinator will provide you with a list of Adoption Specialists. If you live in another state, counseling must be provided by a social worker employed by a licensed agency in your state. Any affidavits filed and sealed adoption records shall be retained for ninety-nine (99) years following the date of registration or finalization.

To register to receive a genetic, health and social history of an adoptee you must complete the Affidavit/Registration form and pay a fee of $5.00. You may register to receive both services on the same form.

Mutual Consent Voluntary Adoption Registry Affidavit

The DCFS Registry Coordinator will send you an Affidavit/Registration form if you submit a written request to the address at the bottom of this page or you can print the affidavit form below. You should not send any money to the Registry Coordinator until you return your notarized Affidavit/Registration form.

You may call the Registry Coordinator at (501) 682-8762 and ask for Tracy Dickinson or click here to send an email.

Mail Correspondence to:
AR DHS/DCFS Adoption Services Unit
ATTN: Tracy Dickinson/MCVAR
PO Box 1437, Slot S565
Little Rock, AR 72203-1437