Judge Approves Third Gay Adoption in South Florida Since 2008

Another blow to Florida's gay adoption ban was served as the third adoption since 2008 by a gay parent was approved by a Miami-Dade judge. The ruling follows a decision by Monroe Circuit Judge David J. Audlin in August 2008 to allow a gay lawyer to adopt a boy he had cared for as a foster parent, and a ruling a month later by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman, who allowed a gay man in North Miami to adopt two boys he had cared for as a foster parent for years. Both judges declared the ban unconstitutional, and the Lederman decision is working its way through the appeals process and might eventually strike down the state's ban once and for all.

According to the Miami Herald, the latest ruling involved Vanessa Alenier, a resident of Hollywood, Florida, who plans to raise the 1-year-old boy with her partner, Melanie Leon. The child is a the biological son of a relative who was taken into protective care shortly after birth, before Alenier's extended family decided the best place for the child is with her. Earlier this month, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Maria Sampedro-Iglesia legalized the adoption despite the fact that Alenier had been open about her sexual orientation on her adoption forms.

"The child is happy and thriving with [Alenier]. The only way to give this child permanency... is to allow him to be adopted'' by her, the judge wrote in her decision.

The Herald called up Matther Staver of the reliably and obsessively anti-gay group, the Liberty Council.

"A judge is not a legislature unto oneself. Judges don't have the ability to write laws any way they desire. They have to follow the rule of law, and this judge did not," Staver said.

Judges are not legislatures, but legislatures aren't families. They shouldn't have the ability to write laws that make blanket decisions about who can and cannot be a parent based on sexual orientation, especially since there is little evidence it harms the child. In this case, the toddler's extended family decided the best place for him is with Alenier and her partner, and it seems silly that in 2010, we have outdated, prejudiced laws that would go against a family's wishes.

[Herald: Ruling a third strike against Florida's gay adoption ban]

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Kyle Munzenrieder