News (USA)

Record number of gays, lesbians applying to become parents in South Florida

Record number of gays, lesbians applying to become parents in South Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A year ago this month, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals in Miami-Dade, ruled a 33 year-old law that barred gays and lesbians from adopting children unenforceable and the state’s attorney general declined to challenge it.

Now, as a result, same-sex couples and gay and lesbian individuals have stepped up their efforts to become parents.

According to an article published Sunday in the Fort Lauderdale- based South Florida Sun-Sentinel, family law attorneys estimated that more than 100 gay and lesbian persons in South Florida have pending adoption cases awaiting final court approval.

“The phones have been ringing off the hook,” said family law attorney Elizabeth Schwartz, of Miami. “It’s been 33 years of pent up desire,” she said.

At the Foster and Adoptive Parent Association of Palm Beach County, Executive Director Marie Bond said “we’re definitely seeing more families” from the gay and lesbian community.

The 2008 ruling by a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge found the state’s ban against gays adopting children to be unconstitutional. On Oct. 22, 2010, Florida’s Attorney General Bill McCollum announced he would not appeal the ruling.

Florida was the only state in the U.S. that legally disallowed any and all LGBT parents from adopting, although they could be foster parents.

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