Sunday, March 15, 2009

Action Alert on Adoption Bill

Gay and Lesbian Parenting: THE FACTS

(1) Florida's gay adoption ban was passed in 1977 at the height of Anita Bryant's anti-gay "Save the Children" campaign. This law has done significant damage to children in foster care by not allowing the best interest of the child to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Curtis Peterson, the lead Senate sponsor, said=2 0upon passage of the ban, "We're trying to send [homosexuals] a message. We're really tired of you. We wish you'd go back into the closet."

(2) Destructive impact on children - over 4,500 children languish in Florida's foster care system today. The adoption ban arbitrarily excludes hundreds, if not thousands, of potential parents based solely on the irrelevant criteria of sexual orientation. These adults could provide stable, loving, PERMANENT homes to many of these children if this ban were lifted.

(3) In 2003, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute released a research study, stating, "reality on the ground is outstripping the pace of the debate. That is, a growing number of lesbians and gay men are becoming parents and are living as families every day, irrespective of what the policymakers do or say."

(4) There is no credible scientific evidence that the sexual orientation of parents has any effects either on the quality of parenting or on the well-being of their children. In fact, the reliable social scientific evidence indicates that lesbian and gay parents are as fit, effective and successful at parenting as their heterosexual counterparts. (See American Academy of Pediatrics February 2002 Policy Statement, Vol. 109, No. 2, pp. 341-344)

(5) At least eleven (11) mainstream child welfare, social science, and professional organizations have issued policy statements SUPPORTING adoptio n by lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) people:

Child Welfare League of America
American Bar Association
American Medical Association
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychoanalytical Association
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Psychological Association
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
National Association of Social Workers
North American Council on adoptable Children

(6) Decades of research indicate that optimal development for children is based not on the sexual orientation of the parents, but on stable attachments to committed and nurturing adults. Children with two parents, regardless of the parents' sexual orientation, do better than children with only one parent. (American Psychiatric Association 11/2002 policy statement)

(7) Adoption decisi ons should be based on an individualized assessment of what is in the best interests of the child to be adopted. Applicants should be assessed on the basis of their ability to successfully parent a child in need of family membership and not on irrelevant considerations such as sexual orientation.

(8) Regardless of what policy makers do or say, gay Floridians are raising children and legal protection is necessary for these children. Families have been created by adopting in other states, artificial insemination, previous heterosexual relationships and family tragedies such as the death of a sibling.

Sponsored by Senator Nan Rich - District 34
Co-Sponsors are
Senator Dan Gelber - District 35
Senator Chris Smith - District 29
Senator Eleanor Sobel - District 31

HB 413 on Adoption
Sponsored by Representative Mary Brandenburg - District 89
Co-Sponsors are
Representative Joseph Abruzzo -20District 85
Representative Ronald Brisé - District 108
Representative Faye Culp - District 57
Representative Joe Gibbons - District 105
Representative Bill Heller - District 52
Representative Evan Jenne - District 100
Representative Rick Kriseman - District 53
Representative Mark Pafford - District 88
Representative Kevin Rader - District 78
Representative Scott Randolph - District 36
Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda - District 9
Representative Kelly Skidmore - District 90
Representative Richard Steinberg - District 106

If you don't see your representative or senator, please give them a call and ask them to sponsor the Adoption bill. To find your representative' s contact info, click here. To find your senator's contact info, click here.

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