Phoenix, AZ – Current law says the decision is supposed to be based on the best interests of the child. This new law says that, everything else being equal, a child must go to a couple rather than a single person or an unmarried couple. Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy, which promotes what it calls pro-family legislation, said this change makes sense.
(Children deserve a chance where possible to have a mom and a dad. The bill signed today by Gov. Brewer balances the needs of children in foster care. It still enables single individuals to be foster parents, to be able to adopt. But it also gives, where all factors are equal, a chance for kids to have a mom and a dad.)
The preference would not overrule other factors that could be taken into consideration. That includes
established relationships between the child and the prospective adoptive parent like a foster parent or grandparent, and the ability to meet the special needs of the child. Brewer also signed legislation saying preachers can urge parishioners to support or oppose ballot measures without violating campaign registration laws. Herrod said there already are limits under federal law of what churches, as charities, can do.
(But pastors have freedom of speech. They have freedom of religion. They are free to communicate to their flocks positions on issues. That's what the First Amendment's about.)
The changes in law will take effect this summer. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.