Miami Judge Lets Lesbian Couple Adopt

Ruling contradicts state law banning gay adoptions

Florida's outdated gay adoption ban took another hit after a Miami judge approved the adoption of a 1-year-old girl by a lesbian couple in Hollywood.

Vanessa Alenier and Melanie Leon became the third gay couple in the last year to be approved to adopt, directly contradicting the state's 1977 law against it, according to the Miami Herald.

"We knew we wanted to be parents, both of us," Alenier, 34, told the Herald. "It's the most amazing thing that ever happened to us. It's changed our lives."
The little boy was a relative of Alenier who had been taken from his parents by child welfare.

The adoption was made possible by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Maria Sampedro-Iglesia, who called the adoption law "unconstitutional on its face" in her ruling earlier this month.

"There is no rational connection between sexual orientation and what is or is not in the best interest of a child," Sampedro-Iglesia wrote in her order. "The child is happy and thriving with [Alenier]."

The ruling by Sampedro-Iglesia follows similar rulings in Key West and North Miami, which also declared the law unconstitutional.

The Florida Department of Children & Families administrators could still appeal the decision, but for now, Alenier, Leon and their little boy are a family.

"We knew it would be very hard to adopt him, and it has been a hard struggle, said Leon.

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