State to Drop Unmarried Foster Ban

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The state's Department of Human Services says it plans to lift a ban on unmarried couples becoming foster parents.

The agency announced yesterday that it would halt its plan to formalize a prohibition that has been in place since an executive directive was signed in 2005. DHS says it will instead propose a policy allowing social workers to place foster children on a case-by-case basis.

The change comes as a conservative group is campaigning for a initiated act on the ballot in November that would ban unmarried couples from adopting or fostering children. The Arkansas Family Council says that measure is intended to be a ban on gay and lesbian couples becoming foster parents, though it applies to both heterosexual and homosexual couples.

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