Family Equality Council Applauds Florida Attorney General’s Decision Not to Appeal Adoption Ruling

FL Ban on Adoption by Lesbians and Gays Ends After 33 Years

Boston, MA—Florida Attorney General, Bill McCollum, declined to
appeal the ruling of the Third District Court of Appeals in the
Martin Gill case. His decision not to appeal puts an end to the
33-year ban on adoptions by lesbians and gays and allows adoption
placements in Florida to be determined on a case-by-case basis with
the best interests of each child in mind.

This decision comes after the Third District Court of Appeals in
Miami upheld a 2008 lower court ruling granting adoptions to Martin
Gill, a gay man who sought to adopt two brothers, ages four and
eight, whom he had been raising with his partner since 2004.
Governor Charlie Christ and the Florida Department of Children and
Families (DCF) have already announced that they will not appeal the
Gill decision.

“Attorney General McCollum’s decision rightly focuses on the
best interests of the children,” said Jennifer Chrisler,
Executive Director of Family Equality Council (FEC), the nation’s
leading policy and social justice organization that supports
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families. “A child’s
well-being must always be determined by child welfare experts on a
case-by-case basis. We are thrilled that more children in need will
have access to loving homes in Florida.”

Today’s decision corroborates what more than 30 years of
scientific research categorically concludes and what every
mainstream child welfare organization has long supported: the
ability of lesbian and gay people to raise happy, healthy,
productive families. The American Academy of Pediatrics, American
Medical Association, American Psychological Association, the Child
Welfare League of America and the National Adoption Center agree
that lesbians and gays make good parents.

“Finding the 500,000 foster kids permanent, loving homes requires
our immediate attention,” said Chrisler. FEC is leading the
effort to pass the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, legislation
that requires every state to look at the best interests of the
children when making placement decisions as opposed to focusing on
the sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status of the
prospective parents.

In Florida, FEC has been part of an aggressive three-year public
education campaign with the American
Civil Liberties Union of Florida and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance
Against Defamation to build support for
overturning Florida’s outright gay adoption ban.