Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cost of Florida’s Ban on Adoption by LGBT Individuals and Same-Sex Couples

The ban against adoption by gay, lesbian, bisexual individuals and same-sex couples in Florida costs the state over $2.5 million each year, according to a report written by Naomi G. Goldberg and M. V. Lee Badgett of The Williams Institute. The writers concluded that prohibiting LGBT individuals and same-sex couples from adopting means that 165 children must remain in foster care or have other adoptive homes recruited for them. If the ban were lifted, the authors estimate that both adoption and foster care by LGBT individuals and same-sex couples would lead to 219 children being adopted and save Florida $3.4 million dollars in the first year.

On March 9 of this year, both the Florida House and Senate introduced bills (HB 413 and SB 2012) that would repeal the state’s statutory ban on “homosexuals.” We hope that these bills will be enacted so that members of the Florida GLBT community will be able to experience the joys of parenthood that are possible in almost every other state.

The National Adoption Center has always welcomed members of the LGBT community and for many years has worked with gay men and lesbians interested in adopting children from the foster care system. Thanks to the generosity of the Wachovia Foundation, we are now embarking on an ambitious adoption initiative to: (1) spread the word to members of the LGBT community about the children who need permanent families and encourage them to consider adoption and (2) work with adoption agencies to create friendly environments with LGBT individuals and couple who wish to pursue adoption.

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