For the first time since its enactment last October, a Florida adoption law that requires pregnant women considering adoption to publish intimate details about their sexual history — purportedly to identify the father — was challenged by six women claiming it unconstitutionally violates their privacy. The new law, pushed by Democratic State Senator Skip Campbell, stipulates public disclosure of the pregnant woman’s name, identification and/or description of possible fathers, and the date and place of conception. Previously, state adoption laws only required release of the baby’s birth date and birthplace.
Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Peter Blanc ruled last month that the current law is unconstitutional only in cases where women have been raped. Otherwise, women — including underage women — are required to post newspaper notices with information on their sexual history. “We do these publications every week and they are horrible, degrading and they are reminiscent of The Scarlet Letter,” said Jeanne Tate, executive vice president of the Florida Association of Adoption Professionals. Charlotte Danciu, the attorney representing the six women, said she would seek to overturn part of Blanc’s decision.