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Alliance Alert

Mar 10, 2009

ADF: Court should reinstate Fla. statute protecting adopted children


ADF: Court should reinstate Fla. statute protecting adopted children

ADF attorneys file brief on behalf of American College of Pediatricians

MIAMI, Fla. — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys have filed a friend-of-the-court brief with a Florida appellate court on behalf of the American College of Pediatricians. The brief asks the court to reverse a trial court decision that struck down a law requiring the government to place the interests of children ahead of the desire of same-sex couples to adopt.

“Florida’s statue was designed to give adopted children the best chance to have the benefit of both a mother and a father,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Byron Babione. “The pediatricians we represent believe the court should safeguard legislation that protects this nation’s most vulnerable citizens: children.”

ADF attorneys argue that the lower court erroneously ruled against the constitutionality of the protective statute by substituting its judgment for that of the legislature.

“Courts do not have a veto power to override laws enacted by the elected representatives of the people.” said ADF-allied attorney Rebecca Townsend of the St. Petersburg law firm Buckley & Fudge, P.A., who helped prepare the friend-of-the-court brief.

The lawsuit involves a man in a same-sex relationship who is seeking to adopt two foster children who have been in his care. In November 2008, he challenged a Florida statute prohibiting individuals practicing homosexual behavior from adopting children as being unconstitutional. A circuit judge in Miami-Dade County ruled in his favor, and the state promptly appealed.

ADF attorneys explain in their brief on behalf of the American College of Pediatricians that Florida Statute §63.042(3) is supported by scientific research and expert testimony. ACOP says it was formed to promote the welfare of children and the preservation of the natural family and is dedicated to ensuring that all children reach their optimal physical and emotional well-being. ACOP holds that the basic father-mother family unit within the context of marriage is the optimal setting for childhood development.

Amicus brief filed Wednesday with the U.S. District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District, in the lawsuit Florida Department of Children and Families v. In re: Matter of Adoption of: X.X.G. and N.R.G.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

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