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Children in gay adoption case are 'safe'

Sept. 21, 2010 at 1:36 PM   |   Comments

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Sept. 21 (UPI) -- If Florida's ban on adoptions by gay couples is ruled valid, its child welfare agency won't remove two children at the center of the challenge, officials said.

The agency said that even if an appeals court -- or eventually the state Supreme Court -- rules the adoption of two boys by Martin Gill, a gay man, should not have been allowed, the state won't remove the children from his home, News Service of Florida reported Tuesday.

"Those children appear to be safe, well-adjusted," Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon said. "We're not in the business of doing that [removing them]."

Gill was allowed to adopt the children by Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Cindy Lederman, who found the state's ban on gay people adopting children unconstitutional.

The state appealed the 2008 ruling to the district appeals court, which is still considering the case.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who has said he supports the right of gays to adopt children, said he was reviewing whether the appeal should continue.

But Sheldon said the agency wants the case to go through the appeals process in an effort to get a final decision.

"We need an appellate decision to say 'this is the constitutional status of this'," Sheldon said.

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