Did you know that forcing a woman to have a baby and give it up for adoption isn't human trafficking? Not yet anyway. A lot of people have tried a number of ways to make the practice of coercing a woman into having and adopting away her child fit neatly within existing human trafficking statutes. It just doesn't. The human trafficking statutes were designed to stop modern day slavery and the sex trade. You really have to stretch the current legal definition of human trafficking to make forcing an adoption illegal.
That's about to change. HB 1488 in Arkansas extends the definition of human trafficking to recruiting, enticing, soliciting, isolating, harboring, transporting, providing, maintaining, or obtaining a pregnant woman for the purpose of causing her to to place the unborn baby up for adoption the use of or threatened force, or benefiting financially from any of those things.
Arkansas - tell your representatives and senators to support HB 1488!
Today is the start of what I hope is the final push towards a major victory in the fight against adoption corruption in Arkansas. Representative Clint Penzo has filed in the Arkansas House of Representatives HB1488, legislation that I drafted more than a year ago that has been rewritten no fewer than eight times after working with scores of other legislators, family advocates, non-profit and community leaders, lawyers, judges, adoptive parents, biological parents, and adopted children. Representative Penzo and former Representative Williams have done the brunt of the heavy lifting. There are 9 cosponsors on the bill and legislative support for its passage is reported to be broad based.
However, the celebrating cannot start until Governor Hutchinson signs the bill. There is big money in adoption and there are some who stand to lose it in an adoption process subject to more judicial oversight requiring ethical behavior. Where big money stands to be lost, the people who stand to lose the most will inevitably complain the most and spend their ill-earned money to lobby against its passage. As such, it is vital that we continue speaking out in favor of this adoption reform.
This is not a matter of what letter you put behind your name or the color of your party's banner. In this session of the General Assembly, there has been a proposed constitutional amendment banning slavery in the Arkansas Department of Corrections (i.e. forced prisoner labor). There have been bills submitted that would severely curtail if not eliminate the practice of abortion in Arkansas. These bills in large measure are supported by opposite sides of the aisle despite having one thing in common - both are rooted in the value of human life. We cannot under any circumstance claim to value human life when our practice of caring for orphans is rooted in the commercial buying and selling of that life. This. Must. Stop.
So let me encourage you to share this article on social media. Tag your state representatives and senators. Tag the Governor and Lt. Governor. Send emails. Make phone calls. If you are in a community organization, talk about it at your next meeting, or call me and I'll come talk about it. Make it clear that Arkansans want, deserve, and demand that we keep adoption beautiful.
On December 4, 2017 at 7:00pm, Josh Bryant will be hosting a free interactive webinar called Making the Family Budget. What does a budget have to do with the law? Great question! In short, a budget is a great risk management tool. A budget can help you manage financial struggles by "telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went" (a famous Dave Ramsey-ism). Financial struggles can lead to all sorts of legal troubles: divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure, eviction, repossession, wage garnishments, and more.
In the interactive Making the Family Budget Webinar, we'll discuss:
We'll conclude with a unique time of question and answer where you'll not only have an opportunity to ask questions, but provide encouragement and your own best practices to others in the group.
Normally, a webinar like this would cost $10 per household unless you signed up for one of our membership plans. The Online Access plan would give you a 20% discount, so it would only cost $8 per household. I'm giving this one to everyone for free as if you were an Attorney Access member. See all the benefits of the membership plans I have available and subscribe for one here.
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I follow Christ. I have a beautiful wife Megan and three wonderful children, Harrisen, Rebekah, and Carter. I have an M.Div. from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, am licensed to practice law in several state and federal courts, and live in Rogers, Arkansas. I write a blog and produce a podcast. And I do it all that others may know Christ.