Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute Opposes Florida Law
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||CONTACT: Cindy Freidmutter|
|February 21, 2002||(212) 269-5080 x. 12|
Prohibiting Gays and Lesbians from Adopting
Some of the 3,400 children waiting to be adopted in Florida's foster care system will never have a loving family because of the Florida statute prohibiting adoption by gay and lesbian adults, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute asserted in a brief filed on February 21, 2002. In the brief, the Adoption Institute and others argue that the statute harms children by denying them available, qualified adoptive parents. The brief also documents that there is no child welfare basis to bar such adoptions, as evidenced by social science research and other states' actual policies and practices. The amici curiae brief was filed in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals by the Child Welfare League of America, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, Children's Rights, Inc., and the National Center for Youth Law in support of a challenge to the Florida law by homosexual foster parents who are seeking to adopt children they are raising.
"The effect of Florida's law is to condemn many children to a 'life sentence' in the foster care system, instead of a promising future with a permanent, loving family. There are simply not enough heterosexual parents--especially 2-parent, heterosexual families--interested in adopting children in state care, particularly children who are older or have special health problems " said Cindy Freidmutter, Executive Director of the Adoption Institute.
Florida is the only state in the country that categorically prohibits gay and lesbian adoption. The statute's blanket prohibition overrides the predominant legal standard in United States adoption law, which is to consider what is in the best interest of the child and review adoptive parents' suitability on a case-by-case basis. There are over 3,400 children waiting to be adopted in Florida. More than a third of these children have been in state care for more than four years.
The plaintiffs in the case include two homosexual foster parents seeking to adopt their foster children. One foster parent has raised his 10-year-old foster child from infancy, the other has raised his ten-year-old foster child since he was four.
Research has demonstrated that lesbians and gay men can be and are good parents, and being raised by lesbian or gay parents is not harmful to children. It also shows that children who remain in foster care have more difficulty in society and are not as well adjusted as children who are adopted.
The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute is a non-profit, national research organization devoted to improving adoption policy and practice. The Adoption Institute is a reliable, unbiased and respected voice for adopted children, biological and adoptive families, and adoption professionals
POLICY AND PRACTICE
executive director's archives| public policy update| benchmark public opinion survey| americans with disabilities act| sibling placement| open records and voluntary registries| openness in adoption| ACLU amici brief| links