Homo Florida Demonstrates Its Commitment to Families…
posted by October 1 at 9:42 AMon
…by trying to prevent two boys from finding a permanent one.
A North Miami gay man began the court fight Wednesday to adopt two children he and his partner have cared for since 2004 through the state’s foster program…. The case is a new challenge to Florida’s 31-year-old law that allows gay people to foster children but forbids them from adopting.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman is presiding over the trial to determine whether [Frank Martin] Gill, 47, and his partner, 34, can adopt two half-brothers whom they’ve had custody of since December 2004. The boys’ mother and respective fathers lost their rights to raise the children in 2006.
In court records, Assistant Attorney General Valerie Martin wrote that the state is trying to uphold public morality and working to “encourage optimal family structure by seeking to place adoptive children in homes that have both a mother and a father.”
But Gill’s attorneys maintain the state is discriminating against gays because no scientific research suggests that children fare better when raised by heterosexual parents.
Okay: the state of Florida placed these boys—foster kids, older kids, kids that are hard to find homes for—with this gay couple nearly four years ago. And now the state blows into court and argues that these men shouldn’t be allowed to adopt these two boys because that would be an affront to “public morality,” and besides the state wants to encourage “optimal family structures,” a.k.a. “every child deserves a mother and a father.”
But if being placed in a home with a vagina and a penis is important when a child is adopted, why isn’t it important when a child is fostered?
The state of Florida wants to have it both ways: Florida panders to the prejudice of homophobes and bigots by denying gay people the right to adopt—and punishes children by preventing them from finding permanent homes and a sense of real security—but Florida refuses to take the next, logical step and ban gay people from acting as foster parents too. Why is that?
Because willing foster parents are scarce, finding and screening foster parents is expensive, and the state of Florida—like all US states—can’t afford to turn away qualified foster parents, regardless of sexual orientation.
For decades Florida has been placing kids with gay foster parents indefinitely—again, those boys have been with that couple for four years—and it has gotten away with this hypocrisy because gay foster parents were afraid, quite rightly, of making waves. Sue the state to adopt kids you’ve been raising for years and the state could swoop in and take those kids from the only stable home they’ve ever known. Foster children placed with gay couples aren’t wards of the state, they’re hostages.
But increasingly gay foster parents aren’t willing to be used like this anymore. IF we’re fit to foster, we’re fit to adopt. Gay foster parents are suing and they’re winning.