ACLU re Family Council | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, February 5, 2009

ACLU re Family Council

Posted By on Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 3:23 PM

The ACLU opposes Family Council's intervention in challenge of the act limiting adoption and foster parenting. It's welcome, however, to file friend-of-the-court briefs in the matter. Today the ACLU asked the Circuit Court of Pulaski County to deny a motion for intervention by the Family Council Action Committee in Cole v. Arkansas, our case challenging Act 1, which bans adoption or foster parenting by any person who is unmarried and lives with a partner.
The plaintiffs in this case are children and families who are directly impacted by Act 1: A grandmother who has been kept from adopting her own grandchild, a father who goes to a dangerous job every day not knowing if his own mother would be able to adopt his children if something were to happen to him and his wife, a mother who has already adopted one child from the state but is not allowed to adopt another, and over two dozen other families who can show how Act 1 jeopardizes their families.  The defendants in the case are the state entities responsible for enforcing Act 1 and placing children in foster and adoptive homes. 
The Family Council Action Committee claims that if it is not allowed to intervene it will be left “completely without a voice” – for the Family Council to claim it has been rendered mute on this issue is laughable.  Is there anyone in the state who doesn’t know what their position is on this law? 
We support the Family Council Action Committee’s right to speak out publicly about its position on Act 1 and its beliefs about families and parenting, which they haven’t hesitated to do.  We also support their right to participate in the case like any other interested party by seeking to file friend-of-the-court briefs.  But the judicial system would grind to a halt and the cost to taxpayers would be astronomical if everyone who is merely interested in a legal case could intervene as a plaintiff or defendant.  And in this case, slowing the legal system down further only harms Arkansas children who are being denied homes because of this law and parents who are blocked from making their own decisions about who should adopt their children if something should happen to them.
For more information on the case, visit

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