Taking Action on Act 1 in Arkansas

Stand Up, Fight Back, and Share Your Story

As you’ve probably heard, Election Day in Arkansas this year brought some sad news. Act 1, which bans unmarried couples from serving as foster parents or adopting children, passed.

But here at the ACLU, we’re not ones to sit around mourning our losses. Along with our allies in Arkansas, we’re figuring out what next steps we’ll take in order to win over public opinion and fight back against this initiative.

If you feel that you, your family, or someone you know may be hurt by Act 1, then we want to hear from you. We especially urge anyone who will be immediately harmed by the ban to contact us. For example:

  • Families who may be forced to have current foster children leave their home.
  • Any parent who, in the event of an emergency, wants his or her children to be adopted by a friend or family member who is unmarried and living with his or her partner.
  • Children in state care who need foster or adoptive homes.
  • The friends and family of children who need a good home who are willing and able to take care of them but are now ineligible to foster or adopt under the new law.
  • Families who want to adopt or foster children but can’t due to the law.

Please email us to share your story. Your personal testimony will help us organize against this initiative so families in Arkansas can stay together, and so that the 3,700 children currently in state custody in Arkansas have the best possible chance of finding a good home.

If you have questions about how the ban could affect you or your loved ones, the ACLU of Arkansas has prepared an FAQ on the initiative - check it out here.

Want to learn more about the rights of LGBT parents? Please visit Get Busy, Get Equal!

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liberal idealist

Well... This law is only bad if homosexuals can't get married, like the can't get married now. If they could get married, what's the problem with only having married couples adopt?


Because getting married does NOT make one automatically more qualified than an unmarried person. Some people, for various reasons, are in long-term relationships, but do not want to be formally married. It is all part of the dominant heteronormative culture to enforce the idea that married people are better.


Oh, and I highly doubt a law that specificaly punishes a segment of the population, whether unmarried people or GLBT couples, would be legal to any law expert.

angry arkansan

Four things 1) This law is bad regardless. If homosexuals could get married, then Arkansas would most likely pass a law specifically prohibiting homosexual adoption.
2)I have no faith we will ever convince the people here that homosexual's deserve human rights let alone civil rights. 3)Short of federal intervention this same state has choosen to repeatedly ignore the rights of minority populations (e.g., blacks, native americans, and hispanics) on religious-moral grounds.4)I am not married and I live with my girlfriend. We were told by our friend that if anything ever happened to her that she would want my girlfriend to adpot her daughter. Because I live with my girlfriend, it would be illegal in Arkansas for us to adopt her daughter. If I didn't live with my girlfriend it would be legal for her to adopt her daughter. This law is counter-productive to raising children in the state of Arkansas.

Please send help now and let me know what I can do!


The problem is that blanket bans of ANY sort reduce the pool of potential foster parents and can prevent child placement professionals from finding the best possible home for a particular child -- something every child welfare, social work, psychological, and pediatric group agrees is a bad idea. A blanket ban on unmarried people would mean that some unmarried people who may be the best possible parents for some children -- including blood relatives -- would be shut out.


angry arkansan, I hope you've emailed the link in the blog post. We'd love to talk with you, but you didn't leave any sort of contact info!


Good job people of Arkansas!!! YOUR voice has been heard. But I guess at the aclu YOUR voice does not matter. Its only the voice of the antagonist, the hater, the imtolerate that matter. Please you good people of Arkansas, dont let some liberal judge strong arm the will of the people. Because, after all, are we not to govern ourselves?

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