Adopted son of gay Key West man gets state subsidy

From the Miami Herald:

Florida's gay adoption law suffered another setback. Child welfare administrators agreed to subsidize services for a teen adopted by a gay man.

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Florida's embattled ban on adoption by gay people suffered another setback Tuesday, when state child welfare administrators agreed to provide health insurance, college tuition and other benefits to the adopted son of a gay Key West man.

For more than a year, the Department of Children & Families had refused to provide the adoption subsidy to the adoptive son of Wayne LaRue Smith, a Key West lawyer whose request to adopt a boy he was raising in foster care was approved by a Monroe County judge in the fall of 2008.

On Tuesday, DCF lawyers did an about-face, agreeing in writing to provide the boy with subsidized college tuition, health insurance under the state's Medicaid program, and other benefits typically provided to other children who are adopted from state care.

``It means, finally, after 10 years, he gets what every other child in the same circumstance gets just by asking,'' Smith said of his now-teenage son, who has not been identified by The Miami Herald to protect his privacy.

``In a symbolic sense, for whatever reason, the department has decided to take the better path, one they should have taken in the first instance,'' Smith added. ``I will probably wonder forever why it is that we had to go through years and years of litigation, and hundreds of thousands in expenses, just to get what other children get automatically.''

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