Families across the United States begin in a variety of ways. This is especially true for LGBT couples. And while advancements in marriage rights have made adoption easier, there are still challenges for many gay and lesbian individuals looking to adopt.
Keep reading to learn more about adoption rights for LGBT couples in Florida and across the country.
Adoption rights under Obergefell v. Hodges
In a landmark 2015 case, Obergefell v. Hodges, the United States Supreme Court ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. Couples across the country were now able to marry in any state they chose. Other cases have extended that ruling to other marriage-related benefits, including the right to adopt.
But, it is important to note that the Obergefell case only explicitly addressed the right to marry. LGBT couples who are not married do not have the same implied right to adopt under Obergefell.
State law hurdles
A Florida court of appeals overturned the state's ban on gay adoption in 2008, although the legislature did not repeal the law until 2015. But unfortunately, there are still some barriers for LGBT couples looking to adopt.
A handful of states have passed legislation that allows private adoption agencies to refuse to place children with LGBT couples on religious grounds. So far, no such law has appeared in Florida.
Watch for state and federal legislation on adoption agencies
As these laws develop, prospective parents should consult with experienced adoption attorneys. New proposals allowing private adoption agencies to refuse placement with LGBT couples may arise in state and federal governments. In your pursuit of the family of your dreams, ensure your rights are upheld.