Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Same Gender Adoption Questions with Irene Annunziata Esq.

I recently had the great opportunity to chat with Irene Annunziata
an amazing attorney here in Florida who specializes in the field of Same Gender and Second Parent adoptions.


Many people, 
especially since the birth of our Son, have asked us some pretty big questions. 

We obviously did not want to attempt to answer lightly.

Joel and I were the first Same Gender Couple to jointly adopt here in our county.
The FIRST thing we did when our story began was to hire a GREAT attorney.

Our Adoption Day.

I thought this would be an ideal topic for DADSquared 
and surely an informative one at that.
So what better time than now to bring in the big guns?

Irene, can a Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual or Transgendered individual currently adopt in the State of Florida?

Irene Annunziata
Yes a LGBT person can petition to adopt. The adoption statute currently still reads that no homosexual person may adopt; however, that provision of the statute was found unconstitutional by the Third District Court of Appeal in Florida in September 2010. The florida Attorney General has since decided not to pursue enforcing the ban after that ruling. 

Can a Same Sex Couple adopt in Florida?

Yes a same gender couple can petition to adopt jointly. 

Okay, lot's of people get confused by the idea of a Second Parent adoption, what exactly is it?

A second parent adoption is where one party is the biological parent or legal parent of the child and that person's partner seeks to adopt the partner's child. 

Oh, so one member of the Same Gender couple could essentially adopt his or her partner/spouses child?
Is it difficult and time consuming?

Yes that is essentially a second parent adotpion and the process is realtively simple. A petition is filed, with consent by the birth parent or legal parent and a home study is conducted usually by a social worker to evaluate the parties' home and background to determine suitability for adoption. The home study takes between 4-6 weeks to complete. Thereafter, a final hearing takes place to finalize the adoption and a new birth certificate is issued within approximately 4 weeks. 

In what other States can Same Gender couples petition for adoption or Second Parent adoptions?

The answer to that question is changing and varies from state to state. As I am only licensed to practice law in Florida I am unable to give an opinion about other states.

I have heard that things are progressing differently in Miami-Dade county than here in Broward, true?

Adoptions should not vary from county to county as the laws are universal to the State of Florida. However, as technically the ban was ruled unconstitutional in the Florida 3rd District Court of Appeal, which is part of Miami-Dade County, it appears that more second parent and same gender adoptions have taken place in Miami-Dade County at the present time. However, they are taking place in Broward County as well.

What are some future concerns regarding the future of Same Gender adoptions?

Some attorneys are concerned about the future of same gender and second parent adoptions in Florida because the ban still exists in the statute and a change in government could reverse course of the Florida Attorney General's office in pursuing the ban. This could force the issue to the Florida Supreme Court which could either support the decision of the Third District Court of Appeal finding the ban unconstitutional or could overturn the Third District Court of Appeal and find the ban constitutional. The State of North Carolina is a cautionary tale because that Supreme Court of North Caorlina recently found second parent adoptions void and not only voided the adoption in the case at hand but all second parent adoptions that had been performed in that State. 

Thanks Irene, I really think this will answer a lot of questions our readers may have!
Please give K. and that sweet baby of yours a kiss for us.

Will do and please let all your future parents know how to reach me!


So there you go.
You asked, we answered.

To reach Irene directly please check out her website below and tell her DADsquared sent you!



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