HRC Blog

Third Strike for Florida Ban on Adoption by Lesbians and Gays

This post on Florida's ban on adoption by gays and lesbians comes to us from HRC Law Fellow Kiat Tanapad. In a move lauded by scholars and the public, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Maria Sampedro-Iglesia became the third judge in Florida to declare the state’s ban of lesbian and gay individuals from becoming adoptive parents unconstitutional.  Judge Sampedro-Iglesia found that there was no rational connection between a person’s sexual orientation and his or her ability to act as a good parent and that the law prohibiting LGBT individuals from adopting was “unconstitutional on its face.”   Since August of 2008, this ruling is the third and most recent in a line of cases where the ban is struck down as unconstitutional.  Currently, an appellate court in Florida is reviewing the validity of the law. Not wanting to start her parenthood with a lie, Vanessa Alenier braced for a struggle when she asked the Department of Children and Families for permission to adopt a baby boy who had become a part of her family.  She truthfully reported her sexual orientation to a Department of Children and Families inquiry, knowing that Florida had not allowed lesbians and gays to adopt since 1977.  This victory in the court strengthens the on-going trend in Florida where lesbians and gays are finally recognized as able parents.  As gracefully put by Judge Sampedro-Iglesia: “the permanent interests and benefit to all members of the adoptive household will be promoted by the adoption.”

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