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.






















www.familylegalmatters.com/


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?




DADsquared
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. 


D.S.
Can a Same Sex Couple adopt in Florida?


I.A.
Yes a same gender couple can petition to adopt jointly. 


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


I.A.
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. 


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


I.A.
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. 


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




I.A.
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.


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


I.A.
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.


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


I.A.
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. 


D.S.
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.


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




End




So there you go.
You asked, we answered.


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


www.familylegalmatters.com/




Namaste


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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Belonging and Believing


My Husband and I have yet to really discuss faith or religion in regards to our Son.

I would simply be happy to know he had some,
faith that is.



















I can't say that what form that faith takes weighs too heavily on me.


I can however say that belonging and believing are two very important concepts to me.

Two words that are naturally entwined to me,
is it possible to do one without having the other?
I don't believe so.

As a matter of fact, my own personal sense of belonging has always faded when believing became less plausible.

I actually surprised myself when I suggested our Son be Baptized.

I thought I had left those ideas tucked away with a much younger version of myself.

My Husband supported me and he actually wore the same gown I was christened in 40+ years ago,
our baby, not my Husband :).

My Baptismal gown




















Now I can't entirely credit (or blame) my early religious training for that,
I'm just a nervous guy that didn't want to take a chance.

Heck, at our wedding I wanted a Priest a Chuppah AND I wanted to jump a broom,
I only got one.

Our Wedding Day















Like taking all the good traditions,
from every type of faith,
and stirring it all up in a giant holy pot and serving it with a side of humor and a grain or two of salt.

So, obviously our family will be having some interesting discussions in the near future.

My Husband, although only lightly raised in his families own watered down version of the Protestant faith.
Has now turned his eyes and heart towards Judaism.
He is considering conversion.

I love him and support him but will not be following suit.
Judaism is too smart for me.
Too much thinking,
too much reading,
although wearing a yarmulke brilliantly hides my bald spot!


Me?
I'm like a humming bird when it comes to religion.
Ever so lightly swooping down and taking my fill for as long as I need to, 
staying only as long as I believe,
and then moving on in search of where I belong.

So, will our boy believe and belong to a group or tribe that makes his heart sing?

Will he identify with the God that my Husband or I once did?

Will he be a faith-filled hybrid like the Dad that writes this story?

Will he be a scholar, a reader, a carrier of traditions like the Dad that sits across from me?

Or will he surprise us with his own revelations based on new experiences we have yet to meet?

All I can say at this moment in time as I close my eyes in prayer or chant or meditation or whatever,
is that he belongs to people that believe in him,
and I guess that's as good of a place to start as any.


Namaste


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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

This Dads take on the Faux Hawk.



This is how it all starts..
The dreaded FAUX HAWK!


















Oh, I know what your thinking,
but it seems so innocent.
Look at him!
Such a big man.
So serious!





















Or,  Look at our silly little man!






















Little man is the problem if you ask me,
I know you didn't.
But come on now, they're only babies for a minute right?
Do we have to make them little men so quickly?




















Taking on grown up qualities so early.





















True, he may grow into that Faux Hawk and seem actually quite successful,
somewhat, well balanced!





















Or be the life of the party!
















That "Bad Boy" haircut may lead them down the wrong path.





















Or God might have BIGGER plans!



But then again he may also end up like my "Funny" Uncle Carl.


I personally can't take that chance.
I won't risk my boys future for the sake of some clippers and gel!
Nope...
Its floppy hair in our house.
No Faux Hawks here.



Namaste

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