Arkansas adds limited right to counsel for parents in adoptions
While a state may have many statutes, court decisions, or court rules governing appointment of counsel for a particular subject area, a "Key Development" is a statute/decision/rule that prevails over the others (example: a state high court decision finding a categorical right to counsel in guardianships cases takes precedence over a statute saying appointment in guardianship cases is discretionary).
09/14/2021, Legislation, Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Birth Parents
Ark. Code § 9-9-208(d) provides:
(1)A parent whose consent to adoption is required under this subchapter shall have limited, independent legal representation for the purpose of:
(A) Executing the consent to adoption; and
(B) Withdrawing the consent to adoption if the parent elects to withdraw the consent as permitted under this subchapter.
(2) The attorney:
(A) Shall not represent any other party in the adoption;
(B) Shall certify, by signing the writing after its execution by the parent, that:
(i) The attorney has explained to the parent the effect of consenting to the adoption; and
(ii) The parent appeared to consent voluntarily and of his or her own free will.
(3) This subsection shall not apply to an adoption if the petitioner is:
(A) A stepparent whose spouse is a natural or adoptive parent of the child to be adopted;
(B) Related to the child to be adopted within the second degree as defined in § 28-9-212; or
(C) Represented by an attorney pro bono in the adoption proceeding.
If "yes", the established right to counsel or discretionary appointment of counsel is limited in some way, including any of: the only authority is a lower/intermediate court decision or a city council, not a high court or state legislature; there has been a subsequent case that has cast doubt; a statute is ambiguous; or the right or discretionary appointment is not for all types of individuals or proceedings within that category.
Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes