Tuesday, June 09, 2009

What happens to gay siblings asked to raise children in a state that bans gay adoption?

Over the years, a few states have banned or tried to ban adoptions by gay people (sometimes even foster care). The most notorious example is provided by Florida, as fought by Rosie O’Donnell, with the current adoption ban struck down in state court as unconstitutional in December and still in litigation. (See this blog, Dec. 28, 2008).

A question comes to my mind about this. Sometimes a family experiences a tragedy in which both parents die in an accident, and an unmarried and possibly gay single sibling is available to raise the children. Sometimes custody is awarded in wills, and sometimes a financial bequest is predicated on the willingness to raise the children. What happens in these cases if the sibling is “publicly” gay and lives in a state banning gay adoption? Does anyone know? I’d love to get an answer in a comment if someone can weigh in.

The situation (with “straight” unmarried adult siblings) was dramatized in the Aaron Spelling WB series “Summerland” in 2004 and with the movie “Raising Helen” and even “Saving Sarah Cain”.

It’s more common that people wind up raising “other people’s children” than we think (a point noted by Phillip Longman in his discussions of low birth rates in the upper middle class).

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