LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas, March 24, 2004 ( – An Arkansas couple is suing the state over a law that prohibits foster children in homes where homosexual adults reside. William Wagner and his wife told the Associated Press that they cannot foster a child because their adult homosexual son stays with them.

The Child Welfare Agency Review Board told the Associated Press that the ban was put in place in 1998 to ensure that children were safe from sexual abuse, neglect, instability, disease, and violence.  Dr. Robert Rice, said at the time that “The traditional family is the gold standard.” A Little Rock psychiatrist, Rice testified in 1998 that “The best environment for a child is biological parents.” He argued that children need both male and female role models to learn how to behave. He also maintained that boys without a male figure were more likely to commit crime.  The only other U.S. state with a similar ban is Nebraska. Unlike Florida and Mississippi, Arkansas does not forbid homosexuals from adopting.

In related news, in Rochester, New York, an Appellate judge has ruled that unmarried and same-sex couples can now petition to adopt a child jointly rather than separately. The Appellate court overruled the earlier decision by Monroe County Family Court Judge Gail A. Donofrio, who denied the petition because the pair were not married.


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