Florida’s adoption ban was ignored again by fair-minded people with authority. State child welfare administrators agreed to provide health insurance, college tuition and other benefits to the adopted son of a gay Key West man.
For more than a year, the Department of Children & Families had refused to provide the adoption subsidy to the adoptive son of Wayne LaRue Smith, a Key West lawyer whose request to adopt a boy he was raising in foster care was approved by a Monroe County judge in the fall of 2008.
On Tuesday, DCF lawyers did an about-face, agreeing in writing to provide the boy with subsidized college tuition, health insurance under the state’s Medicaid program, and other benefits typically provided to other children who are adopted from state care. Read more…
‘Nurturing, stable, and devoted’ gay dads lead Florida’s first gay adoption
Earlier this month, a Circuit Court judge in Florida struck down the state’s ban on gay adoption in order to allow a foster parent in Key West to adopt the son he had been raising.
The Miami Herald offers more information about Wayne Larue Smith his partner Daniel Skahen and their 12-year-old son:
The two men have fostered more than 30 children since DCF accepted their application nine years ago, from a 2-day-old newborn to a 17-year-old. Still, there was something missing. The little boy who had come to their home in 2001 wanted a real father, Smith said. Not a foster dad. Not a permanent guardian — a legal nicety that occurred in 2004 granting Smith the ability to make decisions on the boy’s behalf. At the doctor’s office, at the grocery store, at an airline ticket counter, the boy seemed to visibly deflate every time a stranger asked Smith, ‘Is that your son?’ Smith said. Smith and Skahen were, in most respects, model foster parents, records showed. ‘The applicant is seen as nurturing, stable and devoted,’ a social worker’s home study concluded. ‘As an individual, he is considered to hold high moral character and is known to be gentle and patient.’ The 12-year-old boy’s teacher testified the couple were among the most involved and nurturing parents in her class. ‘I must confess,’ she told a judge, ‘the first year I had him, knowing he was of gay parents, I looked for things, and I found nothing.’