Florida Gay Adoption and Other Stuff

From the Orlando Sentinel comes a thoughtful story on an impending court ruling regarding the constitutionality of a statewide ban on LGBT adoption.

Florida is the only state that outright bans adoptions by gay people, although it allows gays and lesbians to be foster parents.

In November 2008, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman ruled that the law was unconstitutional after Gill and his partner applied to adopt the two boys who are now 4 and 9. The Florida Attorney General's Office, on behalf of the state Department of Children and Families, appealed the ruling.

“For the first time in the 30 years of the ban, a court had heard all the scientific evidence on how kids do when they are raised in gay families, and came to the conclusion that there's no rational basis to believe that kids do better with straight families than gay people,” said Robert Rosenwald, Gill's ACLU attorney. “The appeals court should uphold the Lederman decision because it is based on evidence, scientific evidence that is largely undisputed by the state.”

Mathew Staver, whose Maitland-based Liberty Counsel filed a brief in support of the state, said the appeals court should uphold the adoption ban.

“To permit same-sex adoption is essentially a policy that says children don't need mothers or fathers,” said Staver, whose organization opposes gay rights.

This has relevancy here in Pittsburgh where so many folks have stepped forward interested in adopting the Haitian children from the Bresma Orphanage.  From the PG:

Haiti, for example, is one of a few countries that allow a single woman to adopt a child.

On average, an international adoption could take up two years in the processing of paperwork and cost anywhere between $22,000 and $25,000, said Ms. McLaughlin-Butzine.

It is very unclear if LGBTQ families or individuals can adopt from Haiti.  It is highly relevant given the probability of a significant number of children being orphaned by the earthquake and their proximity to the United States, especially Florida.  Bringing children into the US foster care system under orphan visas does not trump the adoption policies of their home countries.

Wikipedia has an interesting chart of how LGBT rules role out in different nations.

As many countries will permit single parent adoption, there is a line of thought that LGBT couples can have one partner complete the adoption process and subvert the law by completing a second parent adoption back in the US.  That's fairly repugnant to me because the entire adoption is based on a lie and could be legally challenged by the child's country of origin.  Bilerico has more on this approach and the pending impact of Haitian orphans.

It is also repugnant to me because of the 125,000 American children needing homes.  Going overseas to lie about your family while children in your own nation are ignored is borderline immoral.  Mind you, it is the lie that bothers me more while the simple pursuit of transnational adoption just bugs me. 

We can help the children of Haiti by investing that $20,000 into relief efforts. 

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