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Friday, September 21, 2012

Same-Sex Adoptions

Alison M. Smith
Legislative Attorney

While the federal government plays a role in supporting adoption through grants and tax benefits, states have the primary responsibility in setting policy to govern child adoption. As such, states may restrict adoption based on a myriad of factors including sexual orientation and/or marital status. For example, while most states are silent on the issue of adoption by gay and/or lesbian individuals or same-sex couples, states such as Florida, Arkansas, and Mississippi have statutory provisions which prevent such individuals or couples from adopting. However, lower courts in Florida and Arkansas have found such bans unconstitutional on state equal protection grounds. While state courts have struck down such statutory provisions, the only federal court to address the issue reached a contrary result. In a matter of first impression, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit found that Florida’s ban does not violate equal protection or due process under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

This report summarizes state laws concerning non-relative adoption by homosexual individuals and couples.

Date of Report: September 13, 2012
Number of Pages: 6
Order Number: RS21191
Price: $19.95

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RS21191.pdf  to use the SECURE SHOPPING CART


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