A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Arkansas AG denies certification of ballot measure on unmarried adoption ban

[JURIST] Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel [official website] Wednesday issued an advisory opinion [PDF text] rejecting certification of a voter-backed ballot proposition that would ban adoptions by unmarried couples. The measure, submitted by the Family Council of Arkansas [advocacy website], would prevent unmarried couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, from adopting children or acting as foster parents. McDaniel cited inconsistencies between the proposed ballot title and language in the text of the measure as the source of his concerns. His opinion also addressed technical faults in the proposed ballot measure. McDaniel invited the Family Council to resubmit the ballot proposal once corrections are made. Speaking to the AP, McDaniel said that the proposition will likely be certified once it incorporates his suggestions.

In 2004, an Arkansas circuit judge struck down a 1999 ban on gay foster parents [JURIST report] as unconstitutional. Last year, the Arkansas Supreme Court [official website] upheld the decision, finding no connection between homosexuality and child-rearing ability [opinion, PDF; JURIST report]. The Family Council believes that a blanket ban on unmarried couples acting as foster or adoptive parents would be more likely to survive court challenges. AP has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.