Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The ACLU's challenge to Florida's ban on adoption by gay parents

Martin Gill and his partner of more than eight years have been raising two foster children of the state since 2004. When they arrived, the infant and his four-year-old brother had clearly suffered from neglect. In 2006, a judge terminated the parental rights of the biological parents. Meanwhile, the children have thrived in their new home and are closely bonded to their foster parents and their other brother (Gill’s partner’s biological son, who the two men are also raising).

Martin Gill with the two brothers he hopes to adopt in Florida.

Today the boys, now four and eight years old, have many friends in their North Miami neighborhood, are doing well in school, and are close with the couple’s extended family, which includes two doting grandmothers.A psychologist who evaluated the boys recommended that it would be in the boys’ best interest to be adopted by Gill, testifying that it would be devastating for the boys to remove them from the home.

So that he can adopt the children, Gill is being represented by the ACLU in a challenge to the constitutionality of Florida’s law that automatically bans adoption by gay people.

STATUS: On November 25, 2008, a juvenile court judge granted the adoption.The attorney general's office immediately filed its notice of appeal.

The case is pending before the Third District Court of Appeals, which will hear oral argument on August 26, 2009.

Podcast: Martin Gill talks about how the two foster children he is raising with his partner are harmed by Florida's law barring lesbian and gay men from adoption.
YouTube: Learn more about the family at the center of this case.

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