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Florida governor Rick Scott indicated Wednesday that he does not have any immediate plans to try to reinstate the ban on adoption by same-sex couples, which the courts struck down last year.
According to WCTV TV, some advocates are nervous because Scott appointed David Wilkins, who is affiliated with a fundamentalist Christian organization, to head the state Department of Children and Families. The agency stopped enforcing the draconian ban last year after an appeals court upheld a decision from a Miami judge overturning the law.
In remarks to reporters, Scott, who believes only married couples should adopt, said that he, and not the agency head, would make any decisions. A spokesman added that the Republican governor planned to enforce the law, not his personal beliefs. Same-sex couples cannot marry in Florida.
Moreover, WCTV TV reports that it remains unclear how the administration could change the new policy, now that the deadline for appealing the legal decision has passed.
"State legal officials say it's possible that DCF could try to block an adoption by a gay couple in another state appeals court district, with the hopes of getting a new circuit judge and a different appeals court to rule differently, but there's no indication the agency has any plans to pursue such a strategy," according to the news station.
Despite the adoption ban, which existed for three decades, a recent analysis of U.S. Census data showed that Jacksonville, Fla., is home to one of the largest populations of gay parents in the country, with the South in general being a more popular region for same-sex couples to rear children.