In re Adoption of D.P.P., 2014 WL 2109130 (Fla. 5th DCA)

The biological mother moved for relief from the final judgment of adoption, whereby her same-sex partner adopted her child. The trial court vacated the final judgment of adoption holding the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction and the final adoption where the biological mother’s same-sex partner (partner) adoption of the biological mother’s child was void. The partner appealed.

The Fifth District Court of Appeal (Fifth DCA) held the trial court had subject matter jurisdiction over the case and the biological mother was estopped from trying to void the adoption judgment. Estoppel prevents a person from unfairly asserting inconsistent positions. The biological mother and the partner had “jointly sought to make [partner] a co-equal legal parent of [child] and both joined in the adoption petition.  [The child] regards both [biological mother and partner] as parents, and all three lived as a family for years.”

The Fifth DCA went on to hold “it would be unconscionable to allow [biological mother] to invoke the jurisdiction of the court for the sole purpose of creating a parent-child relationship between [partner] and [child] and then to allow her to destroy that same relationship because her relationship with [partner] has ended.”

The Fifth DCA reversed the trial court’s order vacating the final judgment of adoption and reinstated it.

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