The real costs of Florida’s adoption ban: state loses money, children denied permanent homes
March 31, 2009
By Ellen Kahn, director of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Family Project:
Ever since Anita Bryant cast her spell of fear and hate over Floridians in the mid-70’s, loving, qualified “homosexuals” in that state have been banned from adopting children. This, supposedly, was done in the best interests of children.
Fast forward 30 years. It's now widely known that one’s sexual orientation is not a determinant for their ability to provide the support, love, guidance and security every child needs and deserves. We also know that thousands of LGBT adults are interested in learning more about adoption, and with thousands of Florida’s children--and over 100,000 nationwide--waiting for a permanent family, the time has come to strip away that law and open the door to more great families for more great kids. In a new report (PDF) released this month by UCLA's William Institute, researchers Naomi Goldberg and Lee Badgett argue that if fostering rates in Florida rise to the national level as a result of the ban being lifted, they estimate that 219 children would be adopted, saving the state approximately $3.4 million in the first year alone. Let’s all hope that this is the year we finally see Florida move into the 21st century by passing legislation, introduced by Senator Nan Rich, that will finally remove the discriminatory and insulting law that prevents “homosexuals” from adopting chidren. When the Miami Herald came out against the adoption ban on its editorial page a few weeks ago, it correctly noted:
The ban hurts Florida's foster children most. Florida is the only state with a complete ban on gay and lesbian adoptions of foster children. But the state thinks it's fine for them to be foster parents. This hypocritical policy means the state considers a gay couple's home perfectly fit for foster kids but not good enough for giving that child a permanent, stable, loving life.
FLORIDA RESIDENTS: Use HRC's action alert to send a message to your elected officials urging them to repeal the ban: http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/campaign/fladoption