Professor Joanna Grossman is a FindLaw columnist. Her latest column“Adoption Rights for Gays and Lesbians in Florida: A Trial Court Rules That the State’s Longstanding Ban Must End” appeared on December 9, 2008. FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business, is the world’s leading provider of online legal information and Internet marketing solutions for law firms.
The only statute in the nation that bans gays and lesbians from adopting children has just been ruled invalid by a Florida state court judge. The thoughtful, well-reasoned ruling came from Judge Cindy Lederman, and the case was In re Adoption of Doe.
In striking down the ban, Judge Lederman rightly reached a result that a federal appellate court had inexplicably avoided, several years ago, in considering a challenge to the same statute. This column will explain the state court ruling, how it differs from the federal appellate court’s ruling, and why this development brings Florida more in step with other states’ approach to adoption.