Florida’s Ban on Gay and Lesbian Adoption Ends
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.