Can Same-Sex Couples Adopt?

Today’s families are more diverse than ever, especially in the world of adoption — transracial, multicultural, same-sex and single parent families are all often created through adoption.

Same-sex adoption statistics suggest that more and more gay couples are adopting. In fact, same-sex couples are four times more likely to be raising an adopted child and six times more likely to be raising foster children than heterosexual couples. Today, 4 percent of adopted children and 3 percent of foster children are raised by gay and lesbian parents, and 2 million more LGBT individuals are interested in adopting.

Adoption can be a great way for same-sex couples to realize their dreams of parenthood. If you are one of those 2 million LGBT individuals considering adoption, read on to learn more about same-sex adoption laws, the adoption process for gay couples and how American Adoptions can help you grow your family through adoption.

Gay Adoption Laws — Where Can Same-Sex Couples Adopt?

Throughout the history of gay adoption, same-sex couples have often faced barriers to growing their families and have had to fight for gay adoption rights. Fortunately, today there is much more support and acceptance for same-sex marriage and adoption, and almost all states allow gay couple adoption.

Currently, Mississippi is the only state that does not allow same-sex couples to adopt jointly. Joint adoption laws in the remainder of the United States permit LGBT parents to adopt a child together, meaning they are both the child’s legal parents. However, in many states, couples, regardless of sexual orientation, must be married in order to adopt jointly. Learn more about eligibility requirements to foster or adopt a child and adoption laws for gay couples in your state.

While gay couples can adopt jointly in 49 states, some adoption professionals are more LGBT-friendly than others. If you are pursuing adoption for your family, choose an adoption agency like American Adoptions that is open to LGBT parents and has experience in completing same-sex adoptions.

Adoption Process for Gay Couples

In general, the process for same-sex couple adoption is no different than for other parents. At American Adoptions, our costs, programs and wait times are the same for gay and lesbian parents as for heterosexual couples.

Same-Sex Adoption: Pros and Cons

Adoption is a great way for same-sex couples to grow their families, but there are some advantages and challenges of adoption to take into consideration before beginning the adoption process.

In general, LGBT parents enjoy all of the same benefits of adoption as other adopting parents, including:

  • The opportunity to share their lives with a child and experience all of the joys of parenthood

  • The ability to get to know and form special relationships with the child’s birth family

  • The opportunity to raise a child in need of a loving home

In addition, children of same-sex couples may have the added advantage of being more open-minded and sympathetic to differences, and they will enjoy all of the stability and benefits of being raised in a two-parent home.

While the benefits of adoption are clear, gay adoptive parents will likely also face many of the same challenges that heterosexual adoptive parents experience: addressing their children’s racial or cultural identity, managing birth parent relationships in an open adoption, talking to their child about adoption and simply adjusting to parenthood. In addition, there may be some additional considerations for same-sex couples to keep in mind as they begin the adoption process:

  • Gay International Adoption: In general, it is easier for gay and lesbian couples to adopt domestically than internationally. While many same-sex couples have successfully completed international adoptions, several countries still prohibit gay adoption. If you are considering international adoption to grow your family, carefully research countries that allow gay adoption.

  • Gay Adoption Effects on Children: While it has commonly been used as an argument against gay and lesbian adoption, studies have shown that same-sex adoption does not have a negative impact on children. Research shows that children raised by LGBT parents grow up as successfully as children raised by heterosexual parents. In addition, there are no significant differences in the development of gender identity and sexual orientation between children of gay and lesbian parents and children of heterosexual parents, according to gay adoption facts and same-sex adoption statistics

  • LGBT Parenting: While attitudes toward same-sex marriage and adoption are improving, same-sex parents and their children unfortunately may still face prejudice and discrimination from people in their communities. Adoptive parents should be prepared to talk to their children about the many ways families are made and how they can respond to potential negative comments.

As adoption rates for gay couples continue to climb and society continues to be more accepting of different family types, more hopeful parents are choosing to complete their families through same-sex couple adoption.

Resources for Same-Sex Couples Adopting

If you are a member of the LGBT community and are considering adoption, or if you have additional questions about your adoption options, contact one of our experienced adoption specialists at 1-800-ADOPTION. The following resources can also offer additional information and support for gay couples considering adoption:

Thousands of gay and lesbian couples have realized their dreams of parenthood through adoption. When you are ready to start your own adoption journey, American Adoptions can help. Call 1-800-ADOPTION or request free adoption information to get started today.   





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