Gay adoption throughout the State of Florida is slowly increasing. Gay adoption was seen as illegal until the fall of 2010, when Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami held up the right of a Miami man who was a foster parent to adopt the two children he had been raising for years. Until 2010, gays and lesbians were banned from adopting by state law for over 33 years.
Since 2010, at least a dozen gay people have adopted children in Orlando. Gay adoption is also spreading throughout Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Sarasota, Broward, and several other counties in Florida. No Florida judge has rejected a gay adoption since the 3rd DCA ruling. Many couples are also doing “second parent” adoptions – where the biological child of one parent is adopted by the second parent, making the parent-child relationship official.
By allowing gay adoption, it opens up greater avenues for prospective adoptive parents and allows couples to have more organized plans for health care or in the event one parent falls ill, is incapacitated, or passes away.
Even with the 3rd DCA’s ruling, Governor Rick Scott or David Wilkins, his secretary at the Department of Children and Families, could halt Florida’s gay adoptions. They could request that the Florida Supreme Court overturn the cases and order social workers that conduct home studies to screen out gay individuals. However, there are presently no plans for the governor or secretary to do that. Despite the changes of the Florida courts, there are still groups that oppose gay adoption. They continue to lobby for legislation that would again ban gay adoption.
Whatever the future may hold, it is at least apparent that gay adoption is slowly picking up as an option for children and families.