Arkansas Factions Argue over Foster Parent Restrictions

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Some Arkansas advocacy groups say the state is unnecessarily limiting the number of good homes for foster children by prohibiting unmarried couples living together from taking in children. Dr. Jill Fussell, a pediatrician and representative of the Arkansas chapter of the Academy of Pediatrics, says the state needs more foster homes, not fewer. But an Arkansas Family Council representative defends the state's current practice. John Thomas says the practice is aimed at placing children in the best environment.

The Arkansas Department of Human Services is hearing from people for and against the policy as part of turning its directive into formal guidelines.

Meanwhile, a Family Council proposal to ban unmarried couples from adopting or fostering children would become law if approved by voters in November. The Family Council has said its proposal is aimed at barring gays and lesbians from adopting or fostering children.

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