At Center for Arizona Policy, each legislative proposal that we support addresses a specific problem facing families, and each solution we work on with the Legislature is backed by credible social science data and public policy principles. That is particularly true in our efforts to ensure that children being placed for adoption through the state and state-licensed agencies are given the opportunity to be placed with a married mom and dad if available.

The premise for CAP proposing SB 1188 to require marital status to be considered as a relevant factor in adoption placements came out of overwhelming social science data.

In a recent column, “Suffer the Little Children: Cohabitation and the Abuse of America’s Children,” Dr. Brad Wilcox reports on a number of studies showing that cohabitation does not serve the best interests of children. The newest federal study he discusses is the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect Report to Congress.

A couple key findings of this study include:

  • Children living with their mother and her boyfriend are eleven times more likely to be sexually, physically, or emotionally abused than children living with their married biological parents.
  • Children living with their unmarried biological parents are more than four times as likely to be sexually, physically, or emotionally abused as those living with their married parents.

This report once again reveals the deception of the argument that living together outside of marriage is a positive good and that marriage is only a piece of paper. Marriage matters – especially for children.

Overall, the stability offered to children in married homes is critical to their success. Thanks to SB 1188, sponsored by Sen. Linda Gray and signed into law by Governor Brewer, Arizona law now recognizes the importance of giving children the opportunity to be placed for adoption with a married mom and dad.

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