Today, 19 percent of same-sex couples raising children have at least one adopted child, writes Asher Fogle, Good Housekeeping. This is up from just 8 percent in 2000. Same-sex adoption is on the rise, but there are still numerous hurdles for LGBTQ couples.
Overcoming Same-Sex Adoption Hurdles
“Gay and lesbian couples looking to adopt face unique challenges and deep-seated prejudices that continue to exist in some agencies and individuals,” says Kate Bayless, Parents.com, “even as private and government organizations are making strides to ensure that adoption policies are fair.”
Explore Your Options
It is important for you and your partner to sit down and discuss what adoption looks like to you. Do you prefer domestic or international adoption? Do you prefer an infant or are you open to an older child? Would you be comfortable with a transracial adoption? What level of contact with the birth family are you open to, if any? What makes sense for Y-O-U?
Sit down with your partner and talk through your options. “Being honest with yourself about your strengths and limitations can be very important in helping you to find the right match for your family,” says Abbie Goldberg, author of LGBT-Parent Families. And if you are still unsure, sitting down with an adoption counselor is a great way to further explore your options and determine the best choice for your family.
State Adoption Laws
Same-sex adoption is legal in all 50 states, says Bayless, “but adoptions laws vary state by state (and sometimes even by county).” So, it’s important to find out the specific policies for LGBTQ adoption in your area.
“Same-sex couples who choose to have children still face a patchwork of laws around the country that define who is and who can be a parent,” writes Elizabeth Harris, The New York Times. “This introduces a rash of complications about where L.G.B.T.Q. couples may want to live and how they form their families, an array of uncertainties straight couples do not have to think about.”
Connecting with a local adoption agency is a great place to start. They can help walk you through the process and let you know how best to proceed.
Adoption Makes Family
“Regardless of your sexual orientation, you want your desire to adopt to be respected during the evaluation process,” says Dr. David Brodzinsky. “The atmosphere that the adopted family experiences when they go to adopt a child is extraordinarily important.”
Unfortunately, not all adoption agencies are comfortable working with same-sex couples. In fact, less than one-fifth of adoption agencies actively attempt to recruit LGBTQ adoptive parents.
“A lot of agencies do not want to adopt to same-sex couples,” explains Alphonso Reyes. “The way we have experienced it was through a lot of feet dragging.”
So, it’s important to do your research and find an agency that shares your values and will support you and your partner.
If you are a same-sex couple interested in starting the adoption process, please give Adoption Makes Family a call. We are a a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland that works with couples of all races, genders, and sexual orientations. Our goal is for all of our families to be happy and for the child to be raised in a loving environment. Our adoption counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience.
24-Hour Hotline 410-683-2100
If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online contact form.