In re: Gill - Facts About Florida Foster Care

November 25, 2008

What <?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 />Florida’s Department of Children and Families Says About The Ban

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During the trial and the pre-trial discovery in In re: Gill, in which the ACLU is challenging Florida's ban on adoption by gay parents, Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) had the following to say about the state’s foster care system and the law banning gay people from adopting:   

·        DCF admits that the shortage of adoptive parents is a serious problem.

·        In 2006, there were 3,535 children in state custody and waiting to be adopted.

·        As of March 20, 2007, 941 children were listed on the Adoption Exchange and had their pictures on the DCF recruitment website because more than 90 days had passed since termination of parental rights and no adoptive families were identified.

·        At any given point, there are about 900 to 1,000 children in Florida who need adoptive parents to be recruited for them.

·        In 2006, 165 children aged out of the foster care system without ever being adopted.

·        DCF admits that gay people and heterosexuals make equally good parents.

·        DCF admits that placing children with gay adoptive parents does not harm or disadvantage children emotionally or physically. 

·        DCF admits that the blanket exclusion of gay people from adopting does not promote the best interest of children or benefit children in any way and that eliminating the ban would serve children’s interests. 

·        DCF agrees that the blanket exclusion of gay people from adopting is contrary to established best practices in the child welfare field.

·        DCF admits that if the ban on gay adoptive parents were lifted, the state would be able to take some children out of foster care and have them adopted.

·        DCF admits that gay people could be the ideal placements for some children.

·        Where there are no available relatives, DCF encourages foster parents to adopt because a bond and attachment can develop between a child and his or her foster parents. 

·        DCF admits that where a child is in foster care with gay foster parents and already adjusted to the placement and the family is meeting the child’s needs, it would be detrimental to the child to move him.

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