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adoption

Florida children’s agency helped kids go home for the holidays

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More than 3,000 at-risk children will spend the holidays with their birth or adoptive families after a push by the Florida Department of Children and Families. Agency staff worked with dependency judges and local groups to expedite the reunification of foster kids with their families or relatives, or to facilitate their adoption. “The heart of our mission is to help families heal and reunify, or, when that is not possible, to find forever homes for children in the welfare system,” Department…

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Rick Scott signs 9 bills into law

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Gov. Rick Scott continued a flurry of post-Legislative Session activity Wednesday morning, signing nine bills passed during the 2016 lawmaking period into state law. The highest-profile bills meeting the governor’s approval include a requirement that Florida law enforcement test all rape kits within 120 days of their submission, the creation of a needle exchange pilot program in Miami, and a provision allowing judges more discretion when it comes to deciding the custody of adopted children. The full list of laws enacted on…

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Amy Foster officially becomes a mom tomorrow

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St. Pete City Council member Amy Foster will officially become a mom Tuesday morning, her Facebook page announces. She’s been navigating the adoption process since March, when she took in a senior in high school that had bounced from home to home for several years. Foster is adopting 18-year-old Mariah Boyd, who just graduated from high school in Polk County. She’s doing so despite the fact that Boyd is technically an adult and without a second thought that she’s only…

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Florida Legislature repeals 38-year-old ban on gay adoption

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Florida’s 38-year-old ban on gay adoption is getting tossed out by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature. The Florida Senate on Tuesday voted 27-11 for an adoption bill (HB 7013) that repeals the law first passed in 1977. It now heads to Gov. Rick Scott. State Sen. Don Gaetz, the sponsor of the bill, called the current ban “meaningless” since it is no longer enforced. An appeals court ruled it unconstitutional in 2010. But state Sen. Alan Hays called the repeal of…

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Today on Context Florida: Adoptions, what you think, Hillary Clinton and real estate law

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Today on Context Florida: More than 600 children woke up without a permanent home to call their own, says Jason Brodeur, who himself is a child of adoptive parents. That is why he authored legislation to make Florida the best state for adoptions – particularly adoptions benefiting foster children. When it comes to helping children, he adds, let us check rigid ideologies at the door – all of them. The poor? The hell with them. Education? Don’t make me laugh. The…

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Bill Day’s latest: Love, marriage and denied adoption for gays

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First comes love … then comes marriage … but with the Florida House, no baby carriage exists for same-sex couples. Bill Day sharpens his gaze today on a bill passed Thursday by the House, which allows private adoption agencies the option to turn away gay couples, either on religious or moral grounds. The measure was in response to a bill the House passed last month removing a gay adoption ban – rarely enforced — out of state law. Passed by a 75-38 vote, the law…

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Private agencies given protections for not placing adoptions that violate their religious or moral convictions

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One week after striking down a ban on gay adoption a House panel on Thursday approved a proposed committee bill that would allow private child placing agencies to refuse to perform adoptions without risking their state contracts if the placement violates their religious or moral convictions. The proposed bill, PCB HHSC 15-03, was supported by the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Florida Eagle Forum, a self-described “pro-family” group, and opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the National…

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