What's at Stake
A challenge to Florida’s ban on adoption by gay parents.
Martin Gill and his partner of more than 10 years have been raising two foster children of the state since 2004. When they arrived, the infant and his four-year-old brother had clearly suffered from neglect. In 2006, a judge terminated the parental rights of the biological parents. Meanwhile, the children have thrived in their new home and are closely bonded to their foster parents and their other brother (Gill’s partner’s biological son, who the two men are also raising).
Martin Gill with the two brothers he hopes to adopt in Florida.
Today the boys, now six and 10 years old, have many friends in their North Miami neighborhood, are doing well in school, and are close with the couple’s extended family, which includes two doting grandmothers. A psychologist who evaluated the boys recommended that it would be in the boys’ best interest to be adopted by Gill, testifying that it would be devastating for the boys to remove them from the home.
So that he can adopt the children, Gill is being represented by the ACLU in a challenge to the constitutionality of Florida’s law that automatically bans adoption by gay people.
STATUS: Victory! On September, 22, 2010, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal held that Florida’s law banning adoption by gay people is unconstitutional because it has no rational relationship to the best interests of children. The state of Florida has decided not to appeal the ruling. After 33 years, Florida’s adoption ban is dead.
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