Florida ends ban on adoptions by gays and lesbians

Posted on cnn.com:

"Florida's ban on adoptions by gay men and lesbians came to an official end Friday.

"Attorney General Bill McCollum said the case that led to the overturning of the state's 33-year-old law wasn't the 'right case' to take to the state's Supreme Court.

"Licensed foster parent Frank Martin Gill had sued to have the ban overturned. He wanted to adopt two boys who had been placed in his care after the Florida Department of Children and Families removed them from their home for neglect.

"Gill and his partner have been raising the boys for six years.

"'We are relieved that this process has finally come to an end, and that we can focus on being a family,' Gill said in a statement released Friday. 'All children deserve a chance at finding a stable, loving and permanent home. Over the 33 years of the ban, this archaic law has harmed countless foster children by denying them a forever family.'

"Earlier this month, the Department of Children and Families announced it would not appeal a September decision by the state's 3rd District Court of Appeal that found the law unconstitutional.

"'We had weighed an appeal to the Florida Supreme Court to achieve an ultimate certainty and finality for all parties,' said Joe Follick, the department's communications director.

"'But the depth, clarity and unanimity of the DCA opinion -- and that of Miami-Dade Judge Cindy Lederman's original circuit court decision -- has made it evident that an appeal would have a less than limited chance of a different outcome.'

"The appeals court opinion made adoption possible for gay and lesbians in Florida statewide.

"The state agency said it has removed from adoption forms the question about an applicant's sexual orientation. Gov. Charlie Crist ordered the department to stop enforcing the law after Lederman's ruling.

"Florida was the only remaining state to prohibit gay adoption."

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