Can Same-Sex Couples Adopt A Child In Florida?

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Can Same-Sex Couples Adopt A Child In Florida?

Last updated Jun 13, 2023 | Adoptive Family Resources | 0 comments

Can Same-Sex Couples Adopt In Florida?

Yes, same-sex couples can adopt in Florida. The state does not discriminate against adoption based on sexual orientation or gender identity. However, the adoption process can be complex and may require the assistance of an experienced adoption attorney or agency. LGBTQ couples need to research their options and understand the legal requirements before beginning the adoption process in Florida.

Same-sex adoption is a rewarding experience but doesn’t come without its challenges.

History of Same-Sex Adoption

Same-sex adoption, or LGBTQ adoption, has a complex and varied history. While same-sex couples have raised children for centuries, adoption laws and policies have not always accommodated them. 

It has only been within the past decade that adoption by same-sex couples has been legal in the United States. Prior to that, same-sex couples faced discrimination and were often denied the right to adopt. Even after laws changed, many states still had restrictions that made it difficult for same-sex couples to adopt. 

It wasn’t until the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 that same-sex couples were granted the right to marry and adopt in all 50 states. This decision paved the way for more inclusive adoption policies and opened up opportunities for same-sex couples to provide loving homes for children in need. 

Today, same-sex adoption is legal in many countries worldwide and is increasingly recognized as a valid and important option for families. Despite ongoing challenges and discrimination, many same-sex couples have successfully adopted and raised happy, healthy children.

In Florida, adoption by a person who identified as LGBTQ was not legal until 2010. The state’s Third District Court of Appeal made the decision, which ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex adoption was unconstitutional. This decision was a significant victory for the LGBTQ+ community, allowing a person who identified as LGBTQ to adopt; however same-sex marriage was not legal yet; therefore, adopting as an LGBTQ couple was complicated and costly. In 2015, due to the Obergefell decision, same-sex marriage became legal in Florida. As a result, married same-sex couples can legally adopt a child together. 

The road to same-sex adoption legalization in Florida was a long and difficult one, but it ultimately resulted in a more just and equitable society for all families.

Types Of Adoption Processes For Gay & Lesbian Spouses

Adoption is a beautiful way to expand a family and married gay and lesbian couples and individuals have the same right as heterosexual couples and individuals to adopt children. Several types of adoption processes are available to same-sex couples and individuals, including agency adoption, independent adoption, and second-parent adoption.

Agency adoption involves working with a licensed adoption agency.  The agency typically conducts a home study and background checks and provides adoption education for prospective parents. 

On the other hand, private adoption involves working directly with a birth mother or birth parents, often with the help of an adoption attorney.

Stepparent adoption is a process that allows one partner in a same-sex relationship to adopt their spouse’s biological or adoptive child without terminating the spouse’s parental rights. This can provide critical legal protections and ensure both parents have equal rights and responsibilities to the child.

Regardless of the type of adoption process chosen, same-sex spouses need to seek out experienced professionals knowledgeable about the unique legal and social issues surrounding LGBTQ+ adoption. With the right support and guidance, gay and lesbian couples and individuals can successfully navigate the adoption process and build the family of their dreams.

How Do I Find the Right Adoption Professional?

If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community and looking to adopt a child, it is important to find the right adoption professional that will support you through the process. One of the first steps is to research adoption agencies and attorneys in your area and read reviews from other LGBTQ families who have gone through the process. It’s also important to ask about their policies and procedures regarding LGBTQ adoption and their experience working with same-sex couples and individuals. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and voice any concerns you may have. Finding the right adoption professional can help ensure a positive and successful adoption experience.

Questions To Ask An LGBT-Friendly Adoption Professional

LGBTQ-friendly does not mean LGBTQ-competent. By asking thoughtful questions, you can better understand how well-versed a particular company is in gay-friendly adoptions.

-What are the requirements for prospective LGBTQ adoptive parents?
-Do you have any experience working with LGBTQ adoptive families?
-How do you ensure that LGBTQ adoptive parents are treated fairly and equally to heterosexual adoptive parents?
-Have you had any successful adoptions with LGBTQ families in the past?
-What kind of support do you offer to LGBTQ adoptive parents throughout the adoption process?
-Do you have any partnerships or relationships with LGBTQ organizations or resources in the community?
-How do you ensure that all children, regardless of the sexual orientation or gender identity of their adoptive parents, receive a safe and loving home?

The Bottom Line
I am proud to provide legal representation in LGBTQ adoptions; however, this is a dynamic and evolving area of law in Florida, and each situation is different.  Contact my office for an initial consultation to determine if this is an option for your family.  727-800-6681