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ADF will appeal Ark. judge's decision to strike down Act 1 adoption, foster care law 

ADF attorneys say battle is far from over in fighting ACLU’s attack

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Attorneys and allied attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund will appeal an Arkansas judge’s decision to strike down a state law passed by voters to protect children who are adopted or placed into foster care.

Passed by voters in November 2008 by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent, Act 1 gives children the opportunity to be placed in the best home environments and puts their need for stable homes ahead of the desire of unmarried, cohabiting couples seeking children.  The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit to tear down the law shortly after it passed.

“The need of children for the most stable home possible should not be sacrificed on the altar of the ACLU’s agenda and their attempt to undermine the democratic process,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Byron Babione, who argued before the court on April 8 in defense of Act 1.

The decision Friday in Cole v. Arkansas Department of Human Services strangely criticized Arkansas voters, interpreting their desire to provide what’s best for children through Act 1 as targeting “homosexual politically unpopular group,” even though the law applies equally to any unmarried, cohabiting individuals regardless of sexual orientation.

“Arkansas voters cast their ballots to ensure that children wouldn’t be deprived of the best possible family environment and decisively approved Act 1 for that purpose only,” Babione explained.  “There is absolutely no basis to question their intentions or overturn their voice on this matter, so we will appeal this decision.”

Act 1 reads, “A minor may not be adopted or placed in a foster home if the individual seeking to adopt or to serve as a foster parent is cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of a marriage which is valid under the constitution and laws of this state.  The prohibition of this section applies equally to cohabiting opposite-sex and same-sex individuals.”

Scientific research consistently establishes that a home with a married mother and father is the best possible living environment for children.

ADF attorneys represent the Family Council Action Committee, which the Circuit Court of Pulaski County, Second Division, allowed to intervene in the case to defend Act 1 along with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office.  The Family Council Action Committee successfully carried out the petition drive and campaign for Act 1.  Arkansas Family Council Staff Attorney Martha Adcock, one of more than 1,600 attorneys in the ADF alliance, is serving as local counsel in the case.

  • Briefs filed in advance of the summary judgment hearing
  • Pronunciations:  Babione (Babby-own); Tappen (Tapp-in)

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.  Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.  ADF President Alan Sears is co-author with Craig Osten of the book The ACLU vs. America.