Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Adoption Issues

I would have to say that the courts acted appropriately in this instance. If the children are wards of the state, then the state has the right to decide who can and cannot adopt them. Adoption is certainly not a *right*. On the other hand, how can the state regulate private adoptions? That seems like a matter for the birth parent(s) to decide if they are the available. I'll have to look into this more and see what exactly the law prohibits. If anyone has info please comment.

The panel's opinion was written by Judge Stanley F. Birch Jr., who noted that under Florida law adoption is not a right but a privilege."Because of the primacy of the welfare of the child, the state can make classifications for adoption purposes that would be constitutionally suspect in many other areas," Judge Birch wrote. People who hope to adopt, he said, "are electing to open their homes and their private lives to close scrutiny by the state." The opinion did not condemn gay lifestyles ..."Given this state of affairs, it is not irrational for the Florida Legislature to credit one side of the debate over the other...
And should the State of Florida wish to reconsider its policy, "the Legislature is the proper forum for this debate," not the courts, Judge Birch wrote. -NYT

UPDATE: I looked up Florida law and this is what I found:

In the case of a special needs child, Florida residency is not required. A homosexual may not adopt. No person can be prohibited from adopting solely because he or she is handicapped, unless the Department of Children and Familes determines that the handicap makes him or her incapable of being an effective parent.

Consent to AdoptionWritten consent is required of the following people:
1.the mother of the adoptee;
2.the father of the adoptee if
a.the child was conceived or born while he was married to the mother,
b.he has adopted the child
c. the court determined the child is his,
d.he has acknowledged and filed a writing that he is the child's father, or
e. he has provided the child with support in a repetitive customary manner;
3.the adoptee, if older than 12 years of age, unless the court waives the adoptee's consent; and
4.any person entitled to custody of the child, if so required by the court; Authority To Place Child: The Department of Children and Familes, licensed child welfare agencies, and intermediaries (licensed attorneys and physicians) may place children. A final home investigation conducted by a licensed child-placing agency must be conducted before the adoption becomes final. If no such agency exists, the Department of Children and Familes or a licensed professional may conduct the investigation. Numerous restrictions are placed on intermediaries, including limits or fees and requirements to report to the Department the result of studies. Failure to heed these requirements can result in a court's prohibiting the intermediary from placing children in the future.
Relative Adoption: If a child has lived with a grandparent for at least 6 months, the agency handling an adoption petition will notify the grandparent of this fact. The grandparent may then petition to adopt and shall receive first priority, unless contrary to the terms in a deceased parent's will or the adoption is sought by a stepparent.
The preliminary home study is not required in an adoption by a relative or stepparent, unless required by the court.
AdvertisementsOnly the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Services, a licensed agency, or a licensed intermediary may advertise that a child is available or sought for adoption. Further, it is unlawful for any person to publish such an advertisement without including the Florida license number of the agency, attorney or physician placing the advertisement.

Updated March 19, 1999National Adoption Information Clearinghouse

So I guess that the legislature controls all adoptions. Is this a matter of protection of the child's *right* to care? This is to keep children from being marketed and sold?


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