Gay Adoption and Arkansas

During the month of November 2008, the people of Arkansas voted for the passage of Arkansas Law Act 1, which prohibits any unmarried individuals or couples from adopting children. In part, many contend that this law passed as an attempt to keep homosexuals from adopting children. Critics of this law state that it is a political ploy at the expense of Arkansas children waiting to be adopted. This law also includes foster children. Any individuals  living in cohabitation outside of a valid marriage are not permitted by law to adopt or serve as foster parents. The argument is that children function best in a “traditional” family environment between a man and a woman. Academics do not dispute this; however, they do contend there is a violation of the 9th amendment. Moreover, some sociologists have stated that the evidence of a “family” unit between a man and a women is not supported. Thus, this matter becomes one of  religious faith and belief — making it a 1st amendment issue, too.

As noted in other landmark cases such as Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade, the court stated that both venues were in fact legal as thus they address matters of privacy. The matter of privacy is a significant one. There was a point in which states declared by law that one had to be of a certain age to purchase contraceptives such as a condom or diaphragm. This is no longer the case with the rise of AIDS.

After being challenged by the ACLU, a judge has ruled against this law in Arkansas; many state it is a law clearly driven by ideological and political motives, thus serves no purpose for the welfare of children. But, those that collected enough signatures to have this law placed on the ballot via initiative, contend that research backs their basic contention of family stability. Conversely, opponents of this act noted that it is not about family stability; it is anti-gay. Hence, research does not support same-sex couples having an adverse impact on children. Furthermore, as some have stated, Act 1 is in opposition to matters of abortion, as stated by some in the state of Arkansas. On one hand, 57% of the population ruled in favor of Arkansas Law Act 1. On the other hand, many within that same population argue that women should not seek an abortion, but simply but their child up for adoption.

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4 thoughts on “Gay Adoption and Arkansas

  1. I’m sorry, but I can neither think of a valid reason for this legislation nor comprehend why anyone would waste time drafting (or considering) it. The system we have in place for un-familied children isn’t perfect, but I believe that, most of the time, it works. What we really need are more qualified people who are well supported in their jobs so they can assess and process placements for children who need homes and families. Denying ANYONE who is willing to open their home and heart to a displaced child is just stupid, and this legislation smacks of bigotry and hatred – exactly what we DON’T need in our foster and adoption systems, thank you very much.

  2. I disagree. I think this is a GREAT act. I am sad to hear how the ACLU is working against the rights of what the people want. If gay people wanted kids, they should not be gay.

    Mrs. Chili, I am not a bigot. I just think it is wrong.

  3. Wow arkansas conservative, I wish the world was simply that black and white. However, I think you are missing the greater implications of this issue. Not only is this an issue of adoption, but it also stretches into other facets. Under the law, a family member that was co-habitating was not able to become a legal guardian to their own family. I have a gay friend who would not have been able to adopt his own nephew if something happened to the child’s parents. I have seen many families in my tenure as a teacher. Unfortunately, just because the child lived in a “traditional” home did not guarantee life long success. What seems to really help kids is that someone- anyone- is there to nuture, guide, love, and correct that child. By limiting the people that can foster or adopt children, you may be taking away that possibility. It may be the only chance they will get.

  4. I completely disagree with the Arkansas Law Act 1. I can see where they are coming from, not wanting homosexual couples to adopt children. But at the same time, what if an single mother wants to have more children but does not want to find a husband or chemically produce one? Or what if a woman cannot have kids and wants one, but not a husband? This act prevents single women or men from having children, without having a spouse with them. I can see both sides to this act, but I believe the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t break it!” There was not a problem before with homosexuals adopting, so why is there now?

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