Florida Court Upholds Another Gay Adoption

A Florida court on Wednesday, October 27, upheld a lower court ruling granting an adoption to a lesbian. The decision comes one week after Attorney General Bill McCollum said he would not appeal another case that overturned the state’s ban on adoption by gay people.

Wednesday’s ruling in the case of Vanessa Alenier was the only outstanding case that pitted the state’s Department of Children and Families against a gay prospective parent.

The state’s Third District Court of Appeal issued a brief ruling stating only that the trial court decision to grant an adoption to Alenier was “Affirmed,” and to “See Dep’t of Children & Families v. In re: Matter of Adoption of X.X.G. & N.R.G.—the earlier case in which it had overturned the adoption ban and allowed Frank Martin Gill, a gay man, to adopt the two boys he and his partner have been raising for nearly six years.

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), which had opposed Gill in court, had said October 12 that neither the agency nor Governor Charlie Crist (I) would appeal the Third District ruling in the Gill case.

While they could choose to appeal the Alenier case to the state supreme court, DCF spokesperson Joe Follick said, “We are reviewing the case. But given the depth and unanimity of these two decisions, it is likely we would reach the same conclusion on appealing this as we did on the Gill case.”

State Attorney General Bill McCollum, however, retains an independent right to appeal. He said last week that he would not appeal the Gill ruling, but added that he still felt “the final determination should rest with the Florida Supreme Court, not a lower appellate court” and that “No doubt someday a more suitable case will give the Supreme Court the opportunity to uphold the constitutionality of this law.”

A spokesperson for McCollum’s office said Wednesday they had no comment on the Alenier case at this time.

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