Gay foster dads in Florida allowed to keep daughters
September 11 2004 12:00 AM ET
A circuit court judge in Florida this week ruled that a gay couple could keep the twin girls they have been fostering for a year, adding that the state owes the two men "a debt of gratitude." Pinellas-Pasco circuit judge Irene Sullivan said the two young girls from Florida's foster care system should be allowed to live permanently with the two gay men they call "Dad" and "Daddy," reports the St. Petersburg Times. Denying a motion that could have moved away the girls, now ages 6 and 7, Sullivan said, "I'm going to personally thank Dad and Daddy here for, in their way, stopping the cycle of abuse." She even suggested the state use the men to train other foster parents. "It's not just love, it's love, experience, background, intelligence. They seem to have it all," she said.
Curtis Watson, 40, a licensed foster parent, and his life partner, who is in his 40s and works for a health facility, were wearing yellow daisies on their lapels as they stood in the courtroom and dabbed tears from their eyes. About a dozen supporters with identical flowers broke into applause. Watson said he felt "extreme joy" and a chance to "move on with our lives." Assistant state attorney Dane DiSano said he was unsure if the state Department of Children and Families would appeal. Florida is the only state in the nation with a total ban on all gay people from adopting children.