On October 12, 2010, Department of Children & Families’ (DCF)
Director, George Sheldon, announced that the agency will not appeal the
September 2010 court ruling which struck down Florida’s ban on gay
and lesbian adoption as “unconstitutional.” In an official
statement from DCF spokesman Joe Follick, he made clear that the 33 year
ban on gay and lesbian adoption is ending. “The Court opinion is
binding on all trial courts and therefore provides statewide uniformity.
The ban on gay adoption is unconstitutional statewide,” Follick
said. The impact of this decision by DCF not to appeal is that it is now
legal for gay and lesbian parents to adopt children in the state of Florida.
Gay and lesbian Floridians seeking to adopt children will now be evaluated
on the same criteria as heterosexual people. This change is evidenced
by a DCF directive that was sent to department heads statewide that reads:
Based on the ruling that the current law is unconstitutional, you are
no longer to ask prospective adoptive parents whether they are heterosexual,
gay or lesbian, nor are you to use this as a factor in determining the
suitability of applicants to adopt. Focus your attention on the quality
of parenting that prospective adoptive parents would provide, and their
commitment to and love for our children.
If you have questions about this change in the law or how it may affect
you or your rights, please contact us today for a free consultation.