November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Well, Floridians, be aware that gay couples are now permitted to become adoptive parents.
Until now, Florida was the only state in the country to have a blanket ban on same-sex adoptions.
Florida Court of Appeals on Gay Adoption
But, last year, a Florida Court of Appeals decided the state’s blanket ban on gay adoption was unconstitutional because same sex parents were the only ones who could not have their petition for adoption reviewed on a case by case basis.The court ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Martin Gill, a Miami man who wanted to adopt two foster children he and his partner had been raising for almost six years.
The court said that the state, represented by the Florida Department for Children and Families, did not have a rational basis for the ban because all other groups of people, including those with criminal records, could petition for adoption and be considered on a case by case basis. Only gay couples faced a blanket ban.
Supreme Court Appeal
Last month, Attorney General Bill McCollum said he would not appeal that ruling to the Supreme Court. As a result of the ruling, the check box for sexuality as an identifying characteristic on adoption papers throughout the entire state will be finally be removed.
This decision may be appealed by someone in the future, but for now the state of Florida will be able to find homes for the thousands of parentless children with eager same sex parents-to-be. Oddly enough, the ruling will also help Florida meet a legal requirement of the state to provide a safe home for every child.
Same-sex Couple Wanting to Adopt?
If you are a same-sex couple living in Florida and have been considering adoption, now is the time to act. The Law Office of Debra G. Simms has over 22 years of experience advocating for the rights of gays and domestic partners. Call our Toll Free number today: 1-877-447-4667.