In Florida, gay individuals won the right to adopt children in 2010 after being categorically banned since 1977. However, until recently, when the state’s ban on gay marriage was lifted, the future of families was uncertain at best. Only one parent in the couple was considered a legal guardian of the child. A lengthy and expensive legal process was available to grant second parent adoption, but often fell to the whims of judges.
With Florida’s legalization of gay marriage, adoption is becoming a simpler task for same-sex couples. Married gay couples can use step-parent adoption to give both partners equal parental rights under the law. The process is less invasive than second parent adoption, and often costs several thousand dollars less. Additionally, Florida has granted married gay couples adopting children from foster care the right to adopt as a couple, rather than individually.
In Oklahoma, a judge granted a married same-sex couple a decree to adopt as a couple, one of the first instances allowed within the state. Previously, as in Florida, gay people could adopt only as individuals. Oklahoma legalized same-sex marriage in October 2014. While the state’s adoption statute has not yet been re-written to include same-sex marriages, an interpretation of the current code paved the way for this couple to adopt.