Most people know that Florida is only 1 of 2 states in the country that does not allow homosexuals to adopt. Many people who are in committed same-sex relationships come to my practice in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, from surrounding counties such as Clay, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns to find out how they can protect their rights as a parent in the current legal market banning gay adoptions. Most of the time, I can try to protect a non-biological parent’s rights through estate planning, i.e. drafting a will or parenting agreement and treating it as a contract instead of an adoption. However, the Florida Supreme Court has now decided as recently as May 13, 2009, in the case of Embry v. Ryan, that same-sex parents who have adopted a child in another state will have that parentage and adoption recognized here in Florida through the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution. This is a giant step for Florida in joining 48 other states who allow same-sex adoptions. Mississippi is the only other state to ban same-sex adoptions. Do you think this decision will now mean that Florida will have to recognize gay marriages? Let me hear from you. If you have an adoption issue or any other family law matter such as divorce, child custody, child support, alimony or distribution of assets and liabilities, please call our firm at 904-355-8888. I look forward to hearing from you.