On April 7, 2011, the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that prohibiting unmarried co-habiting adults from fostering and adopting is unconstitutional. Arkansas voters passed the prohibition in November 2008, and its main aim was to stop adoptions by same sex couples.
According to the opinion written by Associate Justice Robert Brown, the law “directly and substantially burdens the privacy rights” of both opposite- sex and same-sex couples. Judge Brown further wrote, “The choice imposed on cohabiting sexual partners, whether heterosexual or homosexual, is dramatic. They must chose either to lead a life of private, sexual intimacy with a partner without the opportunity to adopt or foster children or forego sexual cohabitation and, thereby, attain eligibility to adopt or foster.” There are no further appeals for this lawsuit. The Arkansas Supreme Court is the final appeal for the state constitutional issues disputed in this case.
IAC applauds this ruling. IAC opposes all laws that discriminate against LGBT families in adoption. The organization also opposes other discriminatory policies in adoption, including discrimination against single parents, and couples who are not married.
For more on this topic read our posts on same sex adoption in Florida: