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Gay couples can adopt.

Couples in a committed relationship - gay or straight - can adopt children together in Illinois and the nation's capital, according to recent court decisions.

In Illinois, the appellate court found in two separate cases that state law allows the joint adoptions. (In re K.M. & D.M. and In re K.L & M.M., Nos. 1-95-0161 and 1-95-0238, 1995 WL 421917 (Ill. App. Ct. July 13, 1995).)

"Nothing in the [Illinois Adoption Act] suggests that sexual orientation is a relevant consideration," wrote Judge Gino DiVito.

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals found that the district's adoption law does not specifically prohibit adoptions by unmarried couples. (In re M.M.D. & B.H.M., No. 94-FS620, 1995 WL 410984 (D.C. Ct. App. June 30, 1995).)

State supreme courts in Massachusetts and Vermont have ruled similarly, while the Wisconsin high court has barred these adoptions, according to Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, a gay rights group.

The decisions come on the heels of a Virginia Supreme Court finding that barred a lesbian from retaining custody of her son. (Bottoms v. Bottoms, No. 94-1166 (Va. Apr. 21, 1995); Court Decides Custody Case, TRIAL, July 1995, at 117.)

New Hampshire and Florida are the only two states in the nation that have statutes specifically banning gay couples from adopting children. A recent Florida Supreme Court decision upheld that ban, which was challenged by a gay man who wanted to adopt a child with his partner. (Cox v. Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, No. 82,967, 1995 WL 242399 (Fla. Apr. 27, 1995).)
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Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Sep 1, 1995
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