In re Matter of Adoption of X.X.G. and N.R.G.

Brief Filed: 6/09
Court: District Court of Appeal, Third District, State of Florida
Year of Decision: 2010

Read the full-text amicus brief (PDF, 63KB)

Issue

A challenge to a Florida statute prohibiting adoption by gay or lesbian persons

Index Topic

Sexual Orientation (discrimination; adoption)

Facts

The plaintiff is Martin Gill, a gay man from Miami, who is attempting to adopt two young brothers who have been in foster care with Gill and his partner for over 5 years. Foster care by GLBT persons is allowed in Florida, but Florida law categorically excludes gay people from consideration as adoptive parents. A Florida Juvenile Court judge granted Gill’s petition to adopt after striking down the gay exclusion as 1) a violation of the children’s right to permanency, and 2) a violation of the children and Gill’s right to equal protection under the Florida Constitution because it has no rational connection to promoting children’s interests. The case has been appealed to the Third District Court of Appeal.

APA’s Position

APA’s brief presents an accurate and balanced summary of the current state of scientific and professional knowledge concerning sexual orientation, parenting, and stigma and prejudice. More specifically, APA’s brief addresses the following: 1) homosexuality is a normal variant of human sexual orientation, neither a disorder nor a disease and the vast majority of gay and lesbian individuals lead happy, healthy, well-adjusted and productive lives; 2) a large number of children are currently being raised by lesbians and gay men, both in same-sex couples and as single parents; and 3) empirical research has consistently found that lesbian and gay parents do not differ from heterosexuals in their parenting skills, and their children do not show any deficits compared to children raised by heterosexual parents.

Results

On Sept. 22, 2010, the Florida appellate court issued a decision affirming the lower court's invalidation of the Florida statutory ban on gay and lesbian adoptions. The statute — prompted by Anita Bryant's lobbying in the '70s — provided that "no person eligible to adopt under this statute may adopt if that person is homosexual." The state allowed gay and lesbian foster parents and guardians but, the statute prohibited gay and lesbian adoptive parents. APA was cited by the court several times in reaching this outcome.