Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sunshine State?

(Image credit: Oversnap @

In less than two weeks, the Third District Court of Appeals will hear Melanie and Vanessa Alenier's case, in which the State of Florida seeks to overturn their adoption of Ethan because they are gay. I hope to blog live.

It's been an interesting month here in Florida. One in which Bill McCollum's efforts to become governor of our state have thankfully been put to an end for the present. And based on his comments recently in Florida Baptist Witness, I can say that I'm relieved to bid him farewell from the state political scene. Mr. McCollum was quoted as stating that he didn't even think that homosexuals should be allowed to be foster parents. I won't get into more of what Mr. McCollum posits in that interview here. One can characterize it as rather narrow-minded, to say the very least.

Today's Miami Herald has an eloquent op-ed column by Charles Perez, titled Florida Has It Wrong. Mr. Perez, a former ABC news affliate anchorman in Miami, speaks of the saga he and his husband Keith endured in their quest to be parents. They finally adopted their daughter in Kansas, which hithertofore, I must confess, I had not considered an extremely liberal state.

Why is it so very hard for those who want to be parents to adopt in our State?  I am still stung by Mr. Perez's account from his column:

"Are you a homosexual?'' she asked.
"Excuse me,'' I responded.
It was not the second question she asked, or the third, but the first question once I told her I was interested in adopting.
She represented Our Kids, one of Miami's premiere adoption agencies. Given Florida's anti-gay adoption laws, I didn't blame her for her question, but I didn't like it.
Unwilling to lie, I told her the truth, and the call ended.

When they sought to adopt through another state, they still had to deal with the homestudy engendered in the State of Florida. It was negative for the following reason:

"This agency -- regrettably -- cannot pursuant to Florida Statute 63.042(3) approve either Mr. Perez or Mr. Rinehard for adoption. . . . But for Florida Statute 63.042(3), this agency would highly recommend Mr. Perez and Mr. Rinehard as adoptive parents without reservation.'' 

In a final slap from Florida, after Mr. Perez and his husband were finally able to adopt in Kansas, their insurers refused to let them obtain health insurance for their daughter because the State of Florida does not recognize her adoption by them because they are gay.

How can my state be so wrong, so very sadly wrong? Does it even matter how we got here? We need to find the political and public will to FIX THIS, people.

Hearty congrats to Charles and Keith on the birth of their daughter.

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