Vanessa and Melanie Alenier are a lesbian couple from Florida. In January 2009, a relative of Vanessa gave birth to a boy and put him up for adoption. The Florida Department of Children and Families reported to the boy’s relatives that he would be put into foster care unless a relative stepped forward and adopted him. Vanessa and Melanie did the paperwork, appeared in court, and adopted the boy. They took him home when he was nine days old.
But guess what; LGBT people are forbidden from adopting in Florida. I’ll quote Vanessa and Melanie to continue:
Since his birth in January 2009 we have been fighting the state of Florida every step of the way to prove to them that we are deserving parents of this wonderful child. Not only that, but that he is deserving of our home as well. The 1977 ban is so black and white that those who continue to support it cannot see beyond its walls of homophobia. The road we have endured over the last year and a half has been filled with home visits by DCF once a month, home visits by the Guardian Ad Litem once a month, court hearings, trials, and many hours of e–mails and meetings with our lawyers Alan Mishael and Elizabeth Schwartz. It took several months to finally be heard in our trial for adoption which occurred November 2009. Our wonderful judge, Maria Iglesia–Sampedro, ruled that the law was unconstitutional and granted our adoption in that trial. However, it took DCF until January 2010 to submit all proper documentation in order for the judge to sign off on the adoption. DCF then had 30 days to decide whether to appeal, which DCF did. Since February 2010 we have been moving forward to defend in the appellate court the trial court’s decision that the ban is unconstitutional as to every gay man and woman in the State of Florida. If we win there, our case may then go to the Florida Supreme Court.
Fighting the system has become financially and emotionally draining. We have no idea how much longer this may take. Our home-life hangs in the balance at this point. The only thing that gets us through the motions is knowing that if our case is heard and the law is ruled unconstitutional in the higher courts, then the law will hopefully be thrown out in Florida. That would open the doors for all gay couples and gay foster parents to begin adopting in Florida. So many children need permanent homes and families. Why would Florida want to prevent these children from being adopted by human beings that should have equal rights and equal love to give?
Taking kids from their blood relatives and breaking up families just because those relatives are gay or lesbian is not my kind of family values. No just society does that to children or families.
Melanie and Vanessa deserve all of our support in their fight against this unjust law.
Via Personal Failure at Forever in Hell.