Friday, May 15, 2009

Gay Adoption Wins in Florida Court, Enforcing Recognition of Adoptions in Other States

The Florida Court of Appeals unanimously overturned a lower court's ruling stating that in fact Florida is obligated to recognize adoptions granted to same-sex couples by other states.

Basing its decision on the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the federal constitution, Lara Embry, the plaintiff in the case, “must be given the same rights as any other adoptive parent in Florida.”

Noting that “there are no public policy exceptions to the full faith and credit which is due to judgments entered in another state,” the court concluded that “regardless of whether the trial court believed that the Washington adoption violated a clearly established public policy in Florida, it was improper for the trial court to refuse to give the Washington judgment full faith and credit.”

A concurring opinion further noted that Embry’s “same-sex relationship with [the other parent] is irrelevant for the purpose of enforcing her rights and obligations as an adoptive parent.”

Embry, who had separated from her partner, had one biological child and adopted her partner's birth child, and vice versa. When they split, Ryan wanted to end all contact with Embry and separate the bonded siblings.

This is a big step for Florida. Currently, the laws in Florida ban same-sex couples from adopting within its borders, but these laws are currently being challenged. This ruling, declaring that the state must uphold gay adoptions from other states, is a strong message to the judges who will be considering the ban challenges in their courts.

As it has been stated numerous times on this site and others, the right-wing is beginning to attack the LGBT right to adopt, which many are saying is the next major battle for the LGBT population. The anti-LGBT won't stop until our families are destroyed.

And families DO matter. Read this amazing post on Bilerico Project titled "Family Matters", a moving story of a gay man's close family who don't share a drop of biological blood between them. And in the end, it doesn't matter because we choose our families.

But you know what they say. Two steps forward, one step back. Louisiana Moves to Limit Gay Adoptions.

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