I am currently a foster parent in Arkansas. One foster child lives with me, and the other three live with other foster parents. We're not sure yet, but it looks like the parents' rights will be terminated soon. My wife and I have expressed interest in adopting the child currently in our care, but we have recently been told that there is a "new law" in Arkansas which requires that foster children be adopted with their siblings. We were told (by a social worker from the state) that first the children would be available to residents in the county, and if nobody adopted the children from the county after a period of time, they would subsequently open the adoption up to the whole state, followed by the whole country.
I understand the desire to keep the children together if at all possible. However in this case, three out of the four children have special needs which make taking care of them particularly difficult. I cannot imagine that anybody will take on the task of adopting all four of them (maybe I'm completely wrong - I hope I am). But when I asked what would happen after, say, several years with no adoption prospects, I was told that, no, the children would still ONLY be allowed to be adopted together.
Is this true? Would the state seriously deny adoption in all cases, even after the children had been up for adoption for several years? It seems in this particular case that it may do more harm to the children than good - e.g. the child which we are fostering (and who we are interested in adopting) is very young, and at this point, we have had the child for nearly half of his life; he barely even remembers his parents/siblings.
Does anybody know what specific law this person was referring to? I am curious to look it up myself and see if it is as absolute as this person was telling me. I would challenge this person myself, but I don't want to appear rude by challenging them outright without having researched it myself.