│ LGBTQ INFORMATION NETWORK │ RAINBOW OF RELEVANT
on Gay Adoption
Lifelong Adoptions: LGBTQ Adoptions
Info: LGBTQ Parents
of Straight Children
Law: Legal Issues for Gay and Lesbian Adoption
Of the 594,000 same-sex couple households
in the United States, 115,000 have children. Some people
say that children need both a mother and a father to
raise them, but there are many others who believe that
gender does not matter when parenting. Over the years,
the number of children living with LGBTQ parents has
risen tremendously. As the trend continues, that number
will only increase, as same sex adoption and parenting
becomes more and more widely accepted.
Researchers estimate the total number of
children nationwide currently living with at least one
gay parent ranges from 6 to 14 million. An estimated two
million LGBTQ people are interested in adopting.
Gay and lesbian parents are raising four
percent of all adopted children in the United States.
More than 16,000 same-sex couples are raising an
estimated 22,000 adopted children in the United States.
More than 16,000 adopted children are living with
lesbian and gay parents in California, the highest
number in the United States.
Same-sex parents in the United States are
four times more likely than different-sex parents to be
raising an adopted child. Among couples with children
under the age of 18 in the home, 13% of same-sex parents
have an adopted child, compared to just 3% of
different-sex parents. The median age of same-sex
adoptive parents is 42, as opposed to 44 for comparable
Same-sex couples in all states can
petition for joint adoption statewide. Couples may be
required to be in a legally recognized relationship,
such as a marriage, civil union, or domestic
partnership. States that explicitly allow same-sex
couples to petition for a second parent adoption include
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington DC, Idaho,
Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New
Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.
Adoption Finalized for Alabama Couple
Info: Home and Family
Gay and Lesbian Adoption and Parenting
Sex Couples Can Adopt Children in All 50 States
Info: Same Sex Marriage
Overview of LGBTQ Parenting, Adopting, and Foster Care
They Aren't Telling You About Gay Adoption
Info: LGBTQ Parents
of Straight Children
LGBTQ Adoption Facts
For many, LGBTQ adoption is still a new
concept, and the image of a “perfect” family includes a
mother and a father of opposite sexes. We know this is a
just a stereotype. Today, more and more gay and lesbian
couples are becoming parents, whether through artificial
insemination, a surrogate or LGBTQ adoption.
Almost 40% of all agencies and 83% of
public agencies reported making at least one adoption
placement with a lesbian or gay man. However, one-third
of agencies would reject a gay or lesbian applicant,
either because of the religious beliefs guiding the
agency, a state law prohibiting placement with LGBTQ
parents, or a policy of placing children only with
married couples. Additionally, agency heads are more
likely to have negative views towards gays and lesbians
adopting when they associate such adoptions with greater
evaluation and support needs.
Here are some additional facts supporting
There is no reliable evidence that
homosexual orientation impairs psychological
functioning. And, beliefs that lesbian and gay adults
are not fit parents have no empirical foundation.
Good parenting is not influenced by
sexual orientation. It is influenced most by a parent’s
ability to create a loving and nurturing home. This
ability has nothing to do with whether the parent is gay
There is no evidence to support claims
that children of lesbian and gay parents are less
intelligent, suffer from more problems, are less
popular, or have lower self-esteem than children of
Research suggests that sexual identities
(including gender identity, gender-role behavior, and
sexual orientation) develop in much the same ways among
children of gay and lesbian parents as they do among
children of heterosexual parents.
There is no conclusive evidence that
homosexuality is linked to one's environment. In other
words, growing up in a same-sex couple household will
not "make" a child gay.
& Trevor Plus Four Sons
& Karla Plus Twelve
Ricardo & Jesse Plus Four Sons
& Hugo Plus One Infant
& Elaine Plus Two
Cari & Kim Plus Khaya
Cari Searcy and Kim McKeand legally
married in 2008. Cari Searcy's partner, Kim McKeand, had
given birth to a baby boy, Khaya Searcy, in December
2005, with the aid of a donor. Searcy then sought to
become the adoptive parent of the child, who bears her
last name. Adoption would give Searcy rights to make
medical decisions for the child as well as securing the
sense of family in their home.
In July 2015, Baldwin County (Alabama)
Circuit Court Judge James Reid granted the adoption for
Cari Searcy in Mobile County Probate Court. His approval
of the measure ended a winding and politically fraught
legal battle for Searcy and her wife Kim McKeand,
Khaya's biological mother.
Their four-year-long quest to adopt the
child led to a federal judge overturning the state's
constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
"It was such a surreal feeling to hear
the judge say that it is in the best interest of this
boy to have two legal parents," Searcy said. "For me,
that's when I broke down. It's very emotional and a day
we've been waiting for a long, long time."
Searcy first filed paperwork in Mobile
County Probate Court in 2011 to legally adopt the boy,
whom she has raised since birth. After a brief hearing,
Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis rejected the
petition in April 2012, citing the state's ban on
same-sex marriage. The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
later upheld that decision.
In February 2015, a federal judge ruled
that Searcy could not be denied her desire to adopt
Khaya, clearing the way for same-sex marriage in
But hours before the law legalizing
same-sex marriage was to begin, Supreme Court Chief
Justice Roy Moore ordered the state's probate judges to
withhold same-sex marriage licenses pending the US
Supreme Court decision on the matter.
Searcy filed a second lawsuit after Davis
indicated he would not give final approval of the
adoption until after US Supreme Court case resolved the
same-sex marriage issue. The US Supreme Court legalized
same-sex marriage nationwide in June 2015, striking down
any remaining barriers to Searcy's adoption.
At the courthouse, Khaya, 9, was dressed
for the occasion, wearing a gray suitcoat, a blue button
up shirt, dress pants, and a plaid clip-on tie.
Clutching a brown teddy bear, he said, "It's good that I
finally have two legal parents."
[Source: Casey Toner, Alabama Media
Group, July 2015]
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