Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Adoption Rights for ALL

Did you know that it is ILLEGAL for a gay person to adopt a child in Florida? How rediculous is that?? Well, please see the below post, and if you are a resident of Florida and feel that children deserve a parent, no matter what their orientation is, please send Mr. Crist an email. I recieved this in email form and have decided to post it here as well.
Thanks, Mandi

Securing Our Children's Rights, Inc. (SOCR), is pleased to announce HB 3 - Adoption, for the 2010 legislative session, introduced by Representative Mary Brandenburg, D-West Palm Beach, that is a full repeal of Florida's ban on adoption by its gay and lesbian citizens. Senator Nan Rich has a companion bill in drafting at this date.
Governor Crist has declared Wednesday, July 22, 2009 as Explore Adoption Day and we must contact Governor Crist and the legislature to Explore Adoption by repealing the ban.
WHEN: Wednesday, July 22, 2009
WHO: Governor Charlie Crist (850) 488-7146 or email to
Charlie.Crist@myflorida.com
House Speaker Larry Cretul 850-488-1450 or 352-873-6564 or email to Larry.Cretul@myfloridahouse.gov
Senate President Jeff Atwater 850-487-5100 or 561-625-5101 or email to atwater.jeff.web@flsenate.gov
Your Florida Representative - www.myfloridahouse.gov
Your Florida Senator - www.flsenate.gov

THE ASK: Please ask the Governor to support the repeal of the adoption ban on gay Floridians and ask him to encourage the legislative leadership to pass the repeal. Please ask the House Speaker and the Senate President to support the repeal and encourage Committee hearings for the bills. Please ask your representative and senator to support the repeal, and to become a co-sponsor.

FLORIDIANS READY TO REPEAL BAN

A poll, released January 22, 2009 by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, found that a clear majority of Floridians, 55% to 39%, believe the Florida legislature should repeal the ban.
Click here for poll information We are very hopeful that this independent poll will help give Florida legislators the assurances they need to do the right thing. Now we know that it's not only the right thing to do from a scientific and child welfare perspective, but a majority of Floridians now support the repeal as well.


TALKING POINTS - 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 upon 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 adoption by lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) people: Child Welfare League of Amerian, American Bar Association, American Medical Association, American Academy of PediatricsAmerican Psychiatric Association, American Psychoanalytical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Psychological Association, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, National Association of Social Workers, and 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 decisions 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.

2010 LEGISLATIVE SPONSOR UPDATE
HB 3 on Adoption Sponsored by Representative Mary Brandenburg - District 89Co-Sponsors areRepresentative Evan Jenne - District 100Representative Mark Pafford - District 88Representative Ari Porth - DistrictRepresentative Scott Randolph - District 36Representative Darryl Rouson - District 55Representative Ron Saunders - District 120 If you don't see your representative please give them a call and ask them to sponsor the Adoption bill. To find your representative's contact info,
click here.
The Florida Senate bill sponsored by Senator Nan Rich is currently in drafting.