Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gay Adoption -- Not an Issue in Texas?

A recent court decision in Florida has highlighted an issue that could be coming to Texas. As reported by NPR, the court found that a Florida statute prohibiting gay couples from adopting children was unconstitutional. In Florida, gay couples can be foster parents, but they were unable to legally adopt simply because of their sexual orientation.

Texas does not have a similar statute. There is no such automatic disqualification from adoption because of sexual orientation, but a judge in Texas might disapprove of such an adoption for reasons relating to the "best interests of the children".

It is possible that the Texas Legislature might try to outlaw gay adoption, but they don't need to now and there are certainly budgetary issues to be resolved next Spring, so it is unlikely that such a law will be passed in Texas in the next Legislature. It's likely that the Florida case will go to the Florida Supreme Court and could end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, so we will have to wait for the final word on the issue until the appeals end. In the meantime, don't expect much activity on the issue in Texas.

Thanks to Harry Tindall of Houston for the tip about the Florida story.