Re-Homing Now Illegal in Arkansas

Following information detailing an Arkansas lawmaker and his wife’s re-homing of their adopted children, much discussion took place and demands were made from advocacy groups. Many asked re-homing to be made illegal.

Representative Justin Harris and his wife adopted sisters, ages three and five, in 2013. They had difficulties in the home which led them to believe that the girls would not acclimate well within their family. They re-homed them to an employee of the Child Care Center that the Harris family owned. The new father of the girls was a former youth minister and Harris and his wife believed they were acting in the best interest of the two girls. But one of the girls was sexually abused by the man, who is now serving a 40-year prison sentence. The girls, out of necessity, have found themselves in yet another home. A tragic situation for both of them.

Now the law, signed by Governor Asa Hutchinson, bars re-homing. It is illegal for parents to give their adopted children to any other household (except for close relatives) without court approval. Those who do not follow protocol are subject to a prison sentence and fines.

Arkansas is not the only state in the country to ban re-homing. Arkansas follows Wisconsin and Louisiana. Florida and Illinois are not far behind, as they are now in the legislative process of creating a similar law.

The full story may be read here.