Fla. lesbian opposed in adoption efforts

Feb. 18, 2010 at 12:49 PM

HOLLYWOOD, Fla., Feb. 18 (UPI) -- A Florida state agency is challenging an attempt by a gay woman in Hollywood, Fla., to adopt a relative currently in foster care, an official says.

Department of Children & Families spokesman Joe Follick said his agency appealed a January ruling by Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Maria Sampedro-Iglesia to allow Hollywood resident Vanessa Alenier to adopt an infant relative, The Miami Herald said Thursday.

"Until there is a unified appellate court decision on this issue, we are bound by Florida statute to defend and adhere to the law," Follick said.

The relative involved in the adoption case was born on Jan. 14, 2009, and Alenier sought court approval to adopt the child at the behest of her extended family.

The exact relation between Alenier and the young boy was not released.

Alenier told the Herald the state agency's decision was disheartening, particularly given the agency's recent decision to not oppose the efforts of gay adoptive parent Wayne LaRue Smith.

"I was hoping that this was a signal that (DCF) Secretary George Sheldon might do the right thing in our case, but I can now see that I was mistaken," she said.

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