But then in the Florida Court of Appeals ruled that the law banning gay and lesbian people from adopting was unconstitutional. Then in January , same-sex marriage was legalized. Before marriage equality, same-sex couples looking to both become the parents of their child had to do something called a Florida second parent adoption. However, now that gay marriage is legal in Florida, couples can instead take advantage of the cheaper and more streamlined Florida stepparent adoption process.
What LGBT couples need to know about adoption in Florida
What LGBT couples need to know about adoption in Florida | Brandon Family Law
Five years ago, when Vicky Fales and Heidi Quintana took their son home from the hospital, they entered into a state of worry beyond what most new parents experience. The bans meant that Quintana — whom Aidan came to call ''mama'' — would have no parental rights if anything happened to Fales, his sole biological and legal parent. The only way to give gay couples the same parental rights as straight couples was a cumbersome, costly legal procedure that experts say often depended on finding sympathetic judges. But as family law in Florida shifts to recognize legal gay marriage, adoption is about to become significantly easier. In recent years, a process known as second-parent adoption has been at the cutting edge of gay family law in Florida, but even lawyers who advocated its use had a love-hate relationship with it. Commonly thought of as the best way to cement a nonbiological parent's rights, the process involved a fair amount of bureaucracy and legal acrobatics, even for couples who had been raising children together for years.
Florida LGBT Adoption Laws
Adoption is a complex matter for any family. Although recent advances in marriage equality have protected many rights of adoptive LGBT parents, legislation is still catching up on some issues surrounding parental rights. For nearly four decades, Florida banned adoption by same-sex couples. However, the ban was ruled unconstitutional in , and in the ban was at last lifted, finally making it legal for LGBT couples to adopt in Florida.
The other spouse is a parent of the person to be adopted and consents to the adoption; or. The failure of the other spouse to join in the petition or to consent to the adoption is excused by the court for good cause shown or in the best interest of the child. American Law Reports provide detailed discussions concerning legal issues with extensive summaries of relevant court cases. Reference KF Search this Guide Search.