Two Cases, Two Pairs of Fla. Dads, Proceed in 2 States
The state of Louisiana is asking a federal appeals court to let it list just one of two adoptive gay parents’ names on their child’s birth certificate.
A full panel of 16 judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Wednesday in the case of parents Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith. They now live in Florida and adopted their son after he was born in Shreveport in 2005.
Adopted children in Louisiana get birth certificates bearing their new parents’ names. Louisiana contends that because state law lets only married couples or single individuals adopt, only one man’s name may go the boy’s birth certificate.
A district judge and a three-judge appeal panel have already ruled that Louisiana was wrong. It was unclear when the full appeals court’s ruling will be handed down.
Meanwhile, in Florida itself, a gay Miami man has officially adopted two brothers after he successfully fought to overturn Florida’s three-decade old ban on gay adoptions.
Martin Gill and his partner were the boys’ foster parents for six years before the adoption was finalized Wednesday.
Gill and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the state, calling the ban unconstitutional. The 3rd District Court of Appeal agreed in a ruling last year. The state decided not to appeal.
Gill says he is thrilled they are "officially a family in the eyes of the law."
The prohibition was enacted in 1977 and court records indicate it’s the only law of its kind in the United States.
The Department of Children and Families changed its forms so adoptive parents aren’t asked if they’re homosexuals.