On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Domestic Partnerships on Tuesday, March 5, 2013.

Florida child custody law relating to homosexuality is a work in progress. For example, Florida law restricts the issuance of birth certificates, and expressly states that no person may adopt if that person is a homosexual. However, the ban on homosexual adoptions has been held to violate the equal protection provision of the Florida Constitution.

In re: Gill, 45 So. 3rd 79 (Fla. 3d DCA 2010), declared Florida Statute §63.042(3) unconstitutional, and granted the adoption of foster children to a gay foster parent. The court ruled there was no rational relationship between the statutory ban and the best interests of children.

“Under Florida law, homosexual persons are allowed to serve as foster parents or guardians, but are barred from being considered for adoptive parents. All other persons are eligible to be considered case-by-case to be adoptive parents, but not homosexual persons – even where, as here, the adoptive parent is a fit parent and the adoption is in the best interest of the children.”

Gill overturned the long-standing statutory ban on gay adoption, and opened the legal doors for all qualified gay persons, whether previous adoptive parents or not.

With the law as it is, it is notable that Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Antonio Marin approved the adoption of a 22-month-old baby girl that will list three people as parents on her birth certificate: a married lesbian couple and a gay man. Judge Marin’s order ended a two-year paternity fight between the couple and a friend of the women who donated his sperm, but wanted to play a role in the child’s life. You can read more about the decision here.

Judge Marin’s order means the child’s birth certificate will include a biological father and both women as parents, and the two women will have sole parental rights. While the father will be allowed to visit the child, he is not expected to provide any child support.

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