October 23, 2007
New Florida Bill Proposed--Homosexual Adoption . . . Sometimes
A new bill has been proposed in the Florida Senate (Senate Bill 200). The bill would grant a homosexual individual the opportunity to adopt a child, but only in some circumstances. Florida law has clearly prohibited homosexuals from adopting children for about 30 years.
The newly proposed law, however, would limit homosexual adoption to scenarios such as: when the child has already resided with the person, the child's parents are deceased, and the adoptive parent is the child's guardian. See Bay News 9 coverage from Oct. 23, 2007 ("New bill could challenge law against gay adoptions).
While it is a step in the right direction, it strikes me much like the ENDA debate does: a narrow provision, which should be more inclusive. It appears that this bill would not allow a gay person or couple to adopt a child if they have no prior connection to the child (unless the child's parents are deceased). This limited bill might let gay foster parents adopt, assuming they are the "guardian" of the child, but it would not allow a gay couple to simply adopt a child with no prior connection to that child. It still treats gay individuals in a manner different from straight individuals and, thus, seems to raise equal protection issues. (Obviously, the current law is worse, on that ground, however).