Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Florida agency ends ban on gay adoptions

The Florida Department of Children and Families has responded to last week's ruling that the state's ban on adoptions by gay men and lesbians is unconstitutional, and the news is great.

In a two page memo dated the day after the ruling, Alan Abramowitz, State Director of the Office of Family Safety, announced that the Department has submitted to the legislature language repealing the statute. "Effectively immediately," the memo states, "staff will discontinue asking prospective adoptive parents their sexual orientation." Forms will also be revised to delete any reference to sexual orientation.

The memo further states that "staff should be instructed not to use this information as a factor in determining the suitability of applicants to adopt and should focus his/her [sic] attention on the quality of parenting that prospective adoptive parents would provide, and their commitment to and love for our children." Thank you! I resent having to be so grateful for so obvious a statement of policy, but grateful I am.

No definitive word yet on whether the state will appeal the court ruling to the Florida Supreme Court. It would seem inconsistent with this swift implementation of the appeals court mandate. But it's a big election year in Florida and there will be a new governor, so it isn't over til it's over.

Thanks to Michele Zavos for passing along the memo, which she received through the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.

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