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February-24-03

FL: Adoption Law Mandating Disclosure of Intimate Details Set to Change

A Florida adoption law that requires pregnant women considering adoption to publish intimate details about their sexual history — purportedly to identify the father—is getting an overhaul, reports Reuters. Enacted in October 2001, the law—pushed by Democratic State Sen. Walter “Skip” Campbell—mandates public disclosure of the pregnant woman’s name, identification and/or description of possible fathers, as well as the date and place of conception. Last July, after six women filed a lawsuit charging the law unconstitutionally violates their privacy, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Peter Blanc ruled the law is unconstitutional only in cases where women have been raped.

However, attorneys for the state failed to appear yesterday before the Fourth District Court of Appeals to defend the law. The Associated Press reports that Sen. Campbell is now drafting a revised bill—replacing the public disclosure mandate with a confidential registry that notifies potential fathers should their listed sex partner place a baby for adoption. The new legislation, based on similar adoption laws in New York, Minnesota and Texas, is expected to move gain quick approval in March and be “one of the first bills passed and signed by the governor,” Sen. Campbell told Reuters.

Media Resources: ACLU 2/20/03; Reuters 2/19/03; Associated Press 2/21/03; Feminist Daily News Wire

   

     

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