Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Data and Maybe Eventually New Policy? Let's Hope So, Florida.

In a great blog post today in the NY Times,  Lisa Belkin says "Data drives policy. Or, at least, it should." She cites a new article in the journal Applied Developmental Science, by Farr, et al, titled:  “Parenting and Child Development in Adoptive Families: Does Parental Sexual Orientation Matter?” which finds no indications that a ban on homosexual adopters is based in factual risk to children. "From a policy perspective, our results provide no justification
for denying lesbian and gay adults from adopting children... Indeed, barring adoptions to prospective lesbian and gay parents seems likely to produce a number of undesirable outcomes." This is but the latest in a flood of articles on the topic of that also include "US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-Old Adolescents" which is available for free from the premier journal Pediatrics.

These two articles are great additions to the arsenal of arguments as to why the sexual orientation of an adopter is not as important as the parenting skills and commitment of the adopter. 

©  Marzie @

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fight to Adopt's Fundraiser Attracts a Crowd

Melanie and Vanessa

Melanie and Vanessa Alenier's fundraiser for Fight to Adopt, their fledgling organization to help fund their forthcoming appellate case against the State of Florida's opposition to their adoption of their son Ethan was a huge success. The sold out event was attended by a state senator and a city commissioner and a broad range of supporters. Vanessa was emotional when discussing how much all the support, especially that of her lovely GAL Jackie, means to her and to Melanie. But most of all, how much it means for Ethan. These women so obviously love their son. And they so obviously just want to make that love permanent, legal, and go on with their family's life together. But they are mindful that their situation has wider implications for all gay prospective adopters in Florida.

It's a sad thing that because of divisiveness in the Florida legislature that your tax dollars and mine are going to try to prevent families like the Alenier family from achieving the permanency that children like Ethan need. But if the Courts are the only way to overturn this law, which is so very much not in the best interests of many children who would be adopted by their gay caregivers, so be it. The State of Florida has wasted so much money on fighting adoptions that have been allowed by judges looking at the facts and at children's best interests as recommended by GALs and case managers. If the Courts are the only route to get Vanessa and Melanie's names on Ethan's birth certificate, then bring it on!

On September 8, 2010, I know I'll be in the gallery of the Third District Court of Appeals. Silently cheering Vanessa and Melanie's attorney Alan on. I just hope that it won't take as long for them to get resolution as it has taken Martin Gill and his sons to get resolution on their appellate ruling on Gil's adoption of his two sons.  Their case was argued before the Third District Appellate Court back on August 26, 2009. There has still been no ruling in that case. I simply cannot imagine what that long delay in the ruling has meant for Mr. Gill, his partner and their two sons "John" and "James". Ethan Alenier has been so fortunate to have come to Vanessa and Melanie at such an early age, younger even than "James" arrived at the home of Mr. Gill and his partner. "John", who arrived with his brother "James", at age 4, was less fortunate. He wouldn't speak, couldn't hold a pencil and had never even seen a book before. "John" and "James" have thrived in Gill's home, literally the only home that "James" has ever known. The same is true for Ethan, who has thrived in Melanie and Vanessa's care since shortly after his birth.

How can anyone say that these fine people are not fit to be permanent parents? The children involved have had so much go wrong in their early lives. Don't let's have our State take away the one thing in these children's lives that has been right.

Melanie, Ethan and Vanessa

© Marzie @