Tag Archive for: lesbian adoption

LGBTQ+ Friendly Family Law Firm in Florida

If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community in Florida, you might have found yourself wondering about the best path forward when it comes to family law matters. We get it—navigating the legal landscape can be confusing and overwhelming, and now is not the time for a lawyer to judge you or your family. But fear not! At Family Diplomacy, we’ve got your back. Our mission is to provide you with an open, friendly, and supportive environment as we work together to tailor LGBTQ+ Family Law solutions that perfectly suit your unique needs.  And we help families throughout the State of Florida.

Crafting Harmony through Collaborative Family Law

Picture this: you’ve got personal family matters to resolve, but you’re dreading the thought of entering a public adversarial court system. Guess what? You don’t have to go that route. Family Diplomacy recommends a much more peaceful alternative for Florida and Tampa Bay LGBTQ+ spouses and partners: Collaborative Family Law.

Here’s the scoop: in this process, attorneys are on board solely to help you reach private resolutions. We’re actually barred from fighting before a judge. Plus, there’s a facilitator—usually a trained mental health professional—who’s there to keep everyone focused on what’s best for the family, including any children involved. This person ensures that communication remains respectful and productive. And since financial matters can be complex, especially for LGBTQ+ relationships, a financial professional might step in to guide you through the intricacies of assets and debts.

Meet the Collaborative Guru: Adam B. Cordover

Let us introduce you to an intellectual leader in collaborative practice—Adam B. Cordover. He’s not just any lawyer; he’s an internationally-recognized leader and trainer in collaborative practice. He’s even presented on the use of collaborative practice for LGBTQ+ family law matters to professional and civic groups around the U.S., Canada, France, and Israel, and across Florida including in Tampa, Sarasota, and Orlando, Jacksonville, Boca Raton, and beyond. Adam is also co-author of an American Bar Association book on collaborative family law, a member of the Board of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and recipient of the inaugural Visionary Award from the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals. You’re in good hands!

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2023 Tampa Pride Guide

Family Diplomacy Sponsors 2023 Tampa Pride Guide

Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm is proud to sponsor the 2023 Tampa Pride Guide.  The Guide is published by Watermark Online.  According to Carrie West, president of the event, “We welcome everyone near and far to our great city of Ybor for the 9th Annual Tampa Pride.  We share this celebration with thousands of visitors to enjoy our community’s welcoming hand and spirit through our day long LGBTQ festivities.”

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Bradenton Adult Adoption Featured on Ellen DeGeneres Show

This week, a Bradenton adult adoption was featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.  Monyay, 19, appeared with her new adoptive mom, Leah Paskalides.  You can see a video clip below.

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Why Florida LGBTQ Families Should Be Concerned About Simmonds v. Perkins

If your child is born while you and your spouse are married, you both will always be considered the parents of the child, right?  Well, not necessarily.  LGBTQ families should be aware of their family law rights.  And according to Simmonds v. Perkins, 247 So. 3d 397 (Fla. 2018), those family law rights may be at risk.

Facts of Simmonds v. Perkins

Simmonds v. Perkins involves a Husband, a Wife, and a Biological Father.  While married to Husband, Wife has an affair with Biological Father.  Wife gets pregnant from Biological Father.  While still married to Husband, Wife gives birth to child.

Now, Biological Father did not know that Wife was married to Husband at the time of the affair, and once Biological Father did learn about the marriage, Wife told him that the marriage was only for “immigration purposes.”

After the child was born, Biological Father would visit the child regularly and paid Wife child support.  Eventually, Biological Father filed an action in court to be named the child’s legal father, have all of the rights of a father (including ability to make decisions and right to spend time with the child), and take on the obligation of child support.

Wife files a motion to dismiss the action because the child was born during an intact marriage between her and Husband.  Traditionally, that meant that there was a strong legal presumption that Husband was the legal father of the child, and it was very difficult for any third party to challenge this status.  Husband would later join as a party and also requested that his rights be respected and the case be dismissed.

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Cordover & Gaies Present on LGBTQ Families & Relationships

On August 11, 2017, psychologist and collaborative facilitator Jeremy Gaies joined collaborative attorney and mediator Adam B. Cordover to present on the topic of “LGBTQ Relationships:  The New Family and Out-of-Court Dispute Resolution.”  Gaies and Cordover facilitated the LGBTQ families workshop at the 25th Annual Conference of Florida’s Dispute Resolution Center.

Purpose of LGBTQ Families Workshop

The purpose of the workshop was threefold:

  1. Identify specific legal and other considerations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals and families;
  2. Engage in discussion of various out-of-court options to meet LGBTQ needs; and
  3. Consider new and future legal challenges for LGBTQ clients and the family law community.

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Nonprofit in Florida Offers Grants for Adoption Costs

The Tampa Bay Times recently ran a story about the Gift of Adoption Fund.  Gift of Adoption Fund is a 501(c)(3) organization with a chapter in Florida that helps prospective adoptive parents in need defray some of the costs of adoption.

Adoption Grants | Gift of Adoption Fund

You can find portions of the Tampa Bay Times story below.

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Can 2 Men or 2 Women Appear on a Florida Birth Certificate?

Florida has not had the best history when it comes to the rights of same-sex couples.  For the longest time, the state had a law on the books that gay men and women were forbidden from adopting a child.  Florida not only enacted a so-called Defense of Marriage Act statute but enshrined its opposition to same-sex marriage in the state’s constitution.  Further, even once Florida courts ruled that the state must recognize marriage between people of the same sex, it was unclear whether the state would permit same-sex divorce.

Fortunately, the state has come a long way.  The “gay adoption ban” is no longer on the books.  The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a ban on the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples is unconstitutional, as is a refusal of one state to recognize a same-sex marriage solemnized in another state.  And it has become clear that circuit courts in Tampa Bay and around the state must give same-sex spouses the opportunity to dissolve their marriage.

So, at this point, can two parents of the same sex appear on a Florida birth certificate?

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US Supreme Court: Second Parent Adoptions Protected by Full Faith and Credit

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a state must give full faith and credit to a judgment granting a second parent adoption issued by a court of competent jurisdiction of another state.

A second parent adoption is similar to a stepparent adoption, where one spouse adopts the other spouse’s child, except that the petitioner in a second parent adoption is not married to the child’s legal parent.  Second parent adoptions were most closely associated with same-sex partners as, until recently, same-sex marriages were not permitted or recognized in Florida and around the country.

Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svgSecond parent adoption was the only method available (where it was permitted) for many LGBT individuals to gain legal recognition as a second parent to a child.

In the case, V.L. v. E.L., 577 U.S. ___ (2016), two women, E.L. and V.L.  were in a relationship from 1995 until 2011.  About seven years into the relationship, E.L. became pregnant via assisted reproductive technology and gave birth to a child (and a couple of years later, to twins).  The women raised the children as co-parents.

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Anti-Gay Language Stripped From Florida Adoption Laws

Up until recently, chapter 63 of the Florida Statutes, which contains the state’s adoption laws, was explicitly anti-gay.  Chapter 63 and adoption case law stated that whether prospective parents could adopt a child should be based on the best interests of the child, with one exception.

LGBT flag

That exception was laid out in Florida Statutes section 63.042(3) (2014), which provided that “No person eligible to adopt under this statute may adopt if that person is a homosexual.”

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Cordover Presents on LGBT Family Law in Sarasota

Family Diplomacy’s managing attorney Adam B. Cordover gave a presentation on “The New Family: LGBT Issues & Family Law” at the 2015 Fall Conference of the Florida Court Professional Collaborative (FCPC) of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit.  The title of the Conference was “2015 Trends in Family Law.”

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