Robert Durell/AP

Florida Adoption Ruling Makes Strides for Gay Parents

November 26, 2008 02:52 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A Florida law blocking gay couples from adopting children has been ruled unconstitutional, an indication of the shifting perception of gay parents.

Florida's Shift

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman has ruled Florida's strict law barring gay people from adopting as unconstitutional, citing a lack of legal or scientific reasoning for prohibiting adoption based on sexual orientation. The law had been in place for 31 years and was supported by the state of Florida, which argued that "a dark cloud" hangs over "homes of homosexuals and their children," reported the Associated Press.

The Florida case involved 47-year-old Martin Gill and his male partner. The couple sought to adopt two brothers, whom they "cared for as foster children since December 2004." Their case is the first to include expert testimony from child psychologists, social workers and others who contended there was "no science" justifying the ban. Florida is planning an appeal, which could end up in the state's Supreme Court.

Public acceptance of gay parents appears to be on the rise. A 2007 Pew poll, cited by CNN, stated that 46 percent of respondents believed gay and lesbian parents should be allowed to adopt, compared with 38 percent in 1999. The American Psychology Association supports same-sex couple adoption, and in the past two decades at least 15 studies of more than 500 children showed that children of gay or lesbian parents are not disadvantaged reported CBS.

While many social conservatives like Dr. James Dobson disagree, Florida's case presents a shifting perception of gay parents. According to Time magazine, Dobson claims: “[T]he majority of more than 30 years of social-science evidence indicates that children do best on every measure of well-being when raised by their married mother and father.”

Background: Studies of same-sex couple adoptions

Opinion & Analysis: Journalists, bloggers and MTV discuss adoption by same-sex couples

Related Topics: Gay parents in the media; Books focused on adoption by same-sex couples


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines