Florida Dept. of Children & Families v. Adoption of X.X.G.
45 So. 3d 79 (Fla. 3d DCA 2010)

Facts:

  • F.G. was a gay foster parent.
  • In 2004, X.X.G. and N.R.G. were removed from their home based on allegations of neglect and abandonment, and placed with F.G.
    • The kids were in pretty bad shape on arriving (infections, poorly clothed, etc.).
    • In 2006, the natural parents’ parental rights were terminated and F.G. applied to adopt the kids.
      • The kids thrived in F.G.’s household, and it wasn’t disputed that F.G. provided a safe, healthy, stable and nurturing home for the children meeting their physical, emotional, social and educational needs.
      • However, F.G. was denied adoption. By Florida statute, homosexuals were not allowed to adopt.
      • F.G. then challenged the statute on equal protection grounds.

History:
The trial court found the statute unconstitutional.

Issue:
Whether the adoption should have been denied because F.G. is a homosexual.

Holding:
No. Affirmed.

Reasoning:

  • The Department unsuccessfully argued that there was a rational basis for the prohibition on homosexual adoption because children will have better role models, and face less discrimination, if they are placed in non-homosexual households, preferably with a husband and wife as the parents.
  • However, unmarried adults could adopt, and homosexuals can be foster parents and legal guardians, so the Department’s argument wasn’t persuasive. Additionally, there was expert testimony citing data that there is no real difference in the parenting of homosexuals or the adjustment of their kids.
  • “It is difficult to see any rational basis in utilizing homosexual persons as foster parents or guardians on a temporary or permanent basis, while imposing a blanket prohibition on adoption by those same persons.”