Below are excerpts from our Public Insight Network participants reactions to a ruling in Florida overturning a ban on gay men and lesbians becoming adoptive parents.
The people I know who have adopted or plan to adopt have been reluctant to go through the very difficult and costly process to get around Florida law. Fortunately some of them have tried and succeeded. For a couple of my friends, this ruling is very encouraging and will give them hope.
-- Fred Fejes, Professor at Florida Atlantic UniversityFt. Lauderdale
I as a gay man never considered adoption. I do know someone who is gay and expressed the desire to be a parent. I am sure he will be encouraged by this ruling. The real winner will be any child who is lucky enough to have him as a parent. My friend may elect to move ahead. I am sure he will consider the fact that just because the courts ruled the ban illegal, institutional prejudice will continue in the system. The prejudice outside the system will be a consideration as well. He will need to decide if the love he wants to give is strong enough to allow him to endure the pain that may be inflicted by hateful fools with no integrity or moral compass.
-- Jeffrey Fichtelberg, Loan Officer & International Sales ManagerMiami Beach
I am the proud father of a lesbian daughter who lives in Berkeley, California. My daughter has two children. She gave birth to one, her former partner the other but the sperm donor is from the same male. Under California law each partner adopted the other which is allowed. Now that they have separated, they share joint custody. Many of their friends have adopted children. Others have done the same as my daughter. All the families function as any other family and the children are all well adjusted. I hope that this ruling encourages more adoptions.
-- Philip Goldin, Closing manager at South Florida Title GroupMiami
I worked as an attorney representing both parents and children in the Dependency Courts and saw how vital CARING AND COMPETENT parents are to our children's future. Sexual orientation, in my opinion, has no connection to that person's ability to care and parent.
-- Lucrecia Diaz HudsonMiami Beach
I have been thinking about this for a few years now. I was partnered with an adopting father in the 1970's and really miss the experience of nurturing a child. I've considered surrogacy (tooooo expensive), fostering (too temporary) and until today, adoption was out of the question. I've got a friend who moved to New Mexico to be able to adopt 2 wonderful children. I reject the notion that because of my orientation, I am not even worthy of consideration of my parenting skills. It must always be in the best interest of the child. Is it better to stagnate and loll in foster care when there are adults who can and want to provide for them? NO!
-- Carl Bickel, Auto Insurance ClaimsBiscayne Park