State child-welfare administrators have appealed the adoption of an infant foster child by a gay Hollywood woman -- the second challenge to Florida's gay-adoption law currently under review.

Joe Follick, a spokesman for the Department of Children & Families, said his agency appealed the decision last month by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Maria Sampedro-Iglesia to approve Vanessa Alenier's adoption of a relative taken into foster care shortly after his birth.

 

``Until there is a unified appellate court decision on this issue, we are bound by Florida statute to defend and adhere to the law,'' Follick said.

An earlier adoption by a gay father from North Miami is pending before the Third District of Appeal in Miami. A decision is expected soon.

Alenier's attorney, Alan Mishael, who has handled two of the state's three successful adoptions by gay people, blasted the state for fighting the adoption.

``Instead of leaving this family alone, DCF wants to break it up and is spending taxpayer dollars trying to do so,'' Mishael said.

The little boy who is the subject of Sampedro-Iglesia's order was born Jan. 14, 2009, and was sheltered by DCF investigators almost immediately. Alenier's extended family suggested she take custody of the little boy, and she agreed. A half-year later, Alenier asked the judge to approve the baby's adoption.

Alenier said she had been heartened to learn that DCF had stopped fighting the efforts of another gay adoptive parent, Wayne LaRue Smith of Key West Earlier this month, DCF agreed to provide Smith's adopted son state subsidies.

``I was hoping that this was a signal that [DCF] Secretary George Sheldon might do the right thing in our case, but I can now see that I was mistaken,'' Alenier said.

Two judges, one in Miami, and another in Monroe County, have already declared the ban unconstitutional. Anti-gay groups are battling those decisions.


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