Florida launches campaign to recruit nongay adoptive parents

By admin

Originally published on Advocate.com November 06 2003 12:00 AM ET

As Florida governor Jeb Bush announced a plan Tuesday to promote adoption through television ads and a streamlined adoption process, he said he would not support any effort to make it legal for gay men and lesbians to adopt children.

The program, called the No Place Like Home initiative, seeks to find homes for nearly 2,100 children in state care waiting to be matched with a family. The program "will result in more children in Florida finding a sense of life and belonging that they have sadly and tragically been deprived of the opportunity to enjoy," said Department of Children and Families secretary Jerry Regier. "Each child deserves a permanent family to love them and guide them."

In addition to the ad campaign, DCF will hold camps in which adults considering adoption can spend a week with children. The camps will open this spring in the Orlando and Tampa areas. The department also will form "HomeFinder Teams," which will try to find families for hard-to-place children, and streamline the adoption process to reduce the average wait to adopt from eight months to five months.

The state, however, won't make it easier for same-sex couples to adopt. Bush said he wouldn't support an effort to change Florida's laws to allow gay men or lesbians to adopt children. The state has the only law in the country that bars all gays from adopting children. A federal judge in Miami upheld the law, but the decision is being appealed.