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ADOPTION

Fostering | Surrogate
 

LGBTQ Adoption: Redefining Family

Two Gay Dads Adopt Six Kids

Rainbow Babies

Stories of Gay Dads and Their Foster Families

How Do Queer Couples Have Babies?

Gay Foster Parents

Adoption Story: Gay Dads Adopt 6 Siblings

How Gay Dads Respond to "The Mommy" Question

Facts on Gay Adoption
 

 

Lifelong Adoptions: LGBTQ Adoptions

Texas Dads Adopt Five of Seven Siblings
Info: LGBTQ Parents of Straight Children

Find Law: Legal Issues for Gay and Lesbian Adoption

Video: Gay Dads Adopt 6 Siblings
Michael and Tyrone: Foster Care Adoption Story

How to Make Adoption a Reality

 

 

LGBTQ Adoption Statistics

 

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.

 

 

Retired Gay Couple Has Fostered 33 Kids
LGBTQ People Want to Foster or Adopt Kids, but Fear of Discrimination Stops Them
Michael and Tyrone: Foster Care Adoption Story

How to Make Adoption a Reality

What They Aren't Telling You About Gay Adoption

Two Gay Dads Adopt Six Kids

Questions Gay Men Should Ask When Considering Foster Care
The Berretts: Questions for an LGBTQ Family

Info: LGBTQ Parents of Straight Children

Family Equality

 

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 opposite-sex parents.

 

 

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.

 

My Gay Mums Are My Best Friends

Retired Gay Couple Has Fostered 33 Kids

LGBTQ People Want to Foster or Adopt Kids, but Fear of Discrimination Stops Them

Advocate: What I've Learned From Being a Gay Dad

Video: Gay Dads Adopt 6 Siblings

Foster Care Adoption Story: Crystal and Kelly

Lesbian Couple is Helping Their Son Build a Lifelong Relationship with Their Sperm Donor
Lesbian Moms Adopt Three Brothers

LGBTQ Adoption and Foster Care Resources

20 Families Rejected a Baby with Down Syndrome Until a Single Gay Man Adopted Her
 

 

Steve & Trevor Plus Four Sons
Heidi & Karla Plus Twelve

Ricardo & Jesse Plus Four Sons
Denis & Hugo Plus One Infant

Mignon & Elaine Plus Two

 

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.

 

 

Hero Dads Adopt Six Siblings

Adoption Finalized for Alabama Couple

Two Gay Dads Adopt Six Kids

LGBTQ People Want to Foster or Adopt Kids, but Fear of Discrimination Stops Them

Questions Gay Men Should Ask When Considering Foster Care
The Berretts: Questions for an LGBTQ Family

Info: LGBTQ Parents of Straight Children

Family Equality

 

Here are some additional facts supporting gay adoption:

 

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 or straight.

 

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 heterosexual parents.

 

 

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.

 

Here's How Two Women Changed The Lives Of LGBTQ Families In Alabama Forever
Dads Celebrate Daughter’s First Birthday After Difficult Path To Parenthood
Gays With Kids: Gay Surrogacy
LGBTQ Nation: Foster Kid Dreams of Being Adopted by Two Days

Germany Making it Easier for Lesbian Couples to Co-Parent

NOLO: Gay and Lesbian Adoption and Parenting

Steve and Rob: Two Dads Adopt Six Siblings

LGBTQ Adoption: Redefining Family

Lesbian Couple is Helping Their Son Build a Lifelong Relationship with Their Sperm Donor
How Gay Dads Respond to "The Mommy" Question

Info: Home and Family

Stories of Gay Dads and Their Foster Families

Lesbian Couple That Brought Down Alabama’s Gay Marriage Ban Sues State Over Second-Parent Adoption

 

Questions to Ask Before Starting the Adoption Process

If you are considering adopting a child, you are in very good company! There are an estimated 2 million LGBTQ adults in the US who want to parent children, many via the adoption process.

If you are considering adopting a child, you are in very good company! There are an estimated 2 million LGBTQ adults in the U.S. who want to parent children, many via adoption. There are numerous ingredients that go into successful adoptions. Here are 8 questions you should ask yourself before you begin the process. If you are comfortable with your answers to these questions, congratulations! You are probably ready to begin the adoption process.

 


 

Rainbow Babies

LGBTQ People Want to Foster or Adopt Kids, but Fear of Discrimination Stops Them

My Gay Mums Are My Best Friends

Two Gay Dads Adopt Six Kids

Retired Gay Couple Has Fostered 33 Kids

Here's How Two Women Changed The Lives Of LGBTQ Families In Alabama Forever

Lesbian Moms Adopt Three Brothers

Texas Dads Adopt Five of Seven Siblings

Questions Gay Men Should Ask When Considering Foster Care

Lesbian Couple is Helping Their Son Build a Lifelong Relationship with Their Sperm Donor

Public or Private Agency?
 

Public child welfare agencies are government entities that provide a safety net for families. Each county and jurisdiction has its own department of social services responsible for caring for children and youth in foster care and those unable to be reunited with their first families are often available for adoption. Many state, county and city public child welfare offices recognize that LGBTQ applicants are excellent prospects to parent youth in their care. The disadvantages of public agencies are the bureaucracies involved and the lengthy period it can take to complete the process. The advantages are the very low (or no) cost to adopt and the occasional, short-term financial stipends to help you support your new child.

Private agencies are licensed and regulated by the state they reside in and are often non-profits. Many LGBTQ adults choose to adopt through private adoption agencies, especially those agencies with demonstrated sensitivity to LGBTQ applicants. While these adoptions can be costly, applicants are often treated very well and can exercise some control over the type of infant or youth they adopt.

 


 

How to Make Adoption a Reality

Steve and Rob: Two Dads Adopt Six Siblings

20 Families Rejected a Baby with Down Syndrome Until a Single Gay Man Adopted Her
Gay Foster Parents

Lesbian Couple That Brought Down Alabama’s Gay Marriage Ban Sues State Over Second-Parent Adoption

Stories of Gay Dads and Their Foster Families

Dads Celebrate Daughter’s First Birthday After Difficult Path To Parenthood
Gays With Kids: Gay Surrogacy

LGBTQ People Want to Foster or Adopt Kids, but Fear of Discrimination Stops Them


What child is right for me/us?


Think carefully about the type of child you feel most able to parent. Please remember that adopting a child is primarily for the child’s benefit, not yours. If she has physical, emotional, or mental challenges, will she eventually thrive with you as her parent? If he has a high need for attention, are you prepared to let him have the spotlight? Would you consider adopting a child who comes with a sister or brother? Are you adamant that you must adopt a girl, not a boy or vice versa? Are you prepared to parent a straight teenager? Or are you pretty open to the kinds of children needing a safe, loving and permanent home? The more flexible you are, the greater the chances of success for both you and your child!

Do you have the necessary investments child-rearing requires?


These investments are far more than buying clothes, giving a weekly allowance, or saving for college, although those are important. Can you provide unconditional love to a child? Are you willing to get interested in activities for which your child shows aptitude? Can you be your child’s educational advocate with the school system? Can you lovingly establish, and enforce, reasonable limits? Are you ready to be completely out to your child? If you are partnered, will both of you share these commitments to your new child? If you answered yes to these, you are probably ready to make the necessary investments in the child.

 

 
 

Creating a Family

My Gay Mums Are My Best Friends

Advocate: What I've Learned From Being a Gay Dad

Video: Gay Dads Adopt 6 Siblings

Here's How Two Women Changed The Lives Of LGBTQ Families In Alabama Forever
Dads Celebrate Daughter’s First Birthday After Difficult Path To Parenthood
Gays With Kids: Gay Surrogacy

Retired Gay Couple Has Fostered 33 Kids


Do you have the patience to wait for your child to show you love?

Some children, especially those older than age 5 or so, have a hard time bonding with, and trusting new adults. Are you ready for your new older child to have a very healthy dose of skepticism about you and your commitment to them? Are you prepared to wait for them to return your love?

Do you have the social and community resources around you that will help you and them along the way?


Will your friends and family embrace the new family unit? Does your community (LGBTQ resources, spiritual center, schools) offer events and groups that could be valuable to you and your child? Is there an active LGBTQ parent support group in the area?

Are you patient enough to successfully complete pre- and post-adoption placement counseling?


All agencies, public and private, will require you to complete some counseling before and after you adopt. Do you welcome that support or do you view it as intrusive and unwelcome?

 


 

My Gay Mums Are My Best Friends

NOLO: Gay and Lesbian Adoption and Parenting

Steve and Rob: Two Dads Adopt Six Siblings

LGBTQ Adoption: Redefining Family

Lesbian Couple is Helping Their Son Build a Lifelong Relationship with Their Sperm Donor
Same Sex Couples Can Adopt Children in All 50 States

How Do Queer Couples Have Babies?

Info: Same Sex Marriage

ACLU: Overview of LGBTQ Parenting, Adopting, and Foster Care

20 Families Rejected a Baby with Down Syndrome Until a Single Gay Man Adopted Her

Are you ready to be 100% honest and transparent with the agency worker?


The worker will evaluate you, your home, financial records, employers, family, medical and psychiatric history, criminal background and so forth to see if you are likely to become a good parent. It’s important to understand that the agency worker is not looking for perfect parents. She or he is looking for your honesty and a reasonably good match with a child in need of a loving home.

Have you had a major life event in the past 12 months?


For instance, have you separated from or lost a partner, moved across the country, experienced the death of someone close, lost your job, married your new love, suffered a significant illness or accepted major new job duties? If so please let your significant life events settle in for a while, then re-evaluate whether or not you still want to adopt. Avoid adopting as a remedy for or as an add-on to another major life event. The adoption process is a major life event in its own right. It is unwise to couple it with another life event.

[Source: Human Rights Campaign]

 

 

How to Make Adoption a Reality

LGBTQ People Want to Foster or Adopt Kids, but Fear of Discrimination Stops Them

Steve and Rob: Two Dads Adopt Six Siblings

Gay Foster Parents

Lesbian Couple That Brought Down Alabama’s Gay Marriage Ban Sues State Over Second-Parent Adoption

Stories of Gay Dads and Their Foster Families

Dads Celebrate Daughter’s First Birthday After Difficult Path To Parenthood
Gays With Kids: Gay Surrogacy

 

Adoption and the LGBTQ Community
 

Approximately 114,000 same-sex couples in the US are raising children. As many as 21% of those couples are raising adopted children and almost 3% of them are fostering a child. In 2016, an estimated 705,000 United States households were headed by a same-sex couple. Over 65,000 adopted children and 14,000 foster children live with LGBTQ parents. Check out these additional overview stats:

--All 50 states have now moved to make adoption by LGBTQ parents legal.
--Same-sex couples are 7-10 times more likely than heterosexual couples to be raising an adopted or foster child.
--Sixty percent of LGBTQ adoptions are transracial.

 


 

Keep in mind that much of this data is compiled on gay and lesbian adoption since little information is available on adoption by bisexuals, transgender and those who identify as queer or gender nonconforming.

While we have seen large shifts in acceptance of gay and lesbian adoption in recent years, discrimination still exists. Currently, only 21 states include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination laws. 52% of the LGBTQ population lives in one of the 29 states that do not have inclusive sexual orientation non-discrimination laws. In a 2011 national survey of 158 gay and lesbian adoptive parents, nearly half reported experiencing bias or discrimination from a child welfare worker or birth family member during the adoption process. Also, although gays and lesbians are facing less discrimination, significantly more resistance exists to adoptions by transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

Acceptance of LGBTQ people adopting is increasing rapidly, especially for gays and lesbians. In fact, many gay dads tell us that they believe their sexual orientation worked in their favor when adopting an infant domestically because some birth moms wanted to remain their child’s “only mother”.

[Source: Creating a Family]

LGBTQ Nation: Foster Kid Dreams of Being Adopted by Two Days

Retired Gay Couple Has Fostered 33 Kids

Germany Making it Easier for Lesbian Couples to Co-Parent

Hero Dads Adopt Six Siblings

Adoption Finalized for Alabama Couple

How Gay Dads Respond to "The Mommy" Question

Info: Home and Family

Stories of Gay Dads and Their Foster Families

Lesbian Couple That Brought Down Alabama’s Gay Marriage Ban Sues State Over Second-Parent Adoption

 

 

Victory for Indiana Lesbian Couples

 

Supreme Court hands down victory for lesbian Moms. Indiana officials were seeking to undermine marriage equality, but the justices refused to hear the case.


In December 2020, the Supreme Court has denied Indiana’s petition to hear a case involving the rights for same-sex spouses to appear on their children’s birth certificates, leaving in place an appeals court decision in favor of listing the wife of a woman who gives birth on their child’s birth certificate.

A month earlier, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill asked the Supreme Court to deny same-sex couples the same right of presumed parenthood that opposite-sex couples enjoy. When a child is born to a married, opposite-sex couple, the mother’s husband is presumed to be the father and is listed on the birth certificate, even if there is no proof that he is the child’s biological father, and even if the couple knows he is not because they used a sperm donor.

 

In Box v. Henderson, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit sided with eight married lesbian couples who had children with the help of artificial insemination, saying that the wives of the women who carried the children should be presumed to be their children’s parents instead of forcing them to adopt the children later.

This is because Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 Supreme Court decision that legalized marriage equality in all 50 states, requires that same-sex marriages and opposite-sex marriages be treated the same. And in its 2017 Pavan v. Smith decision, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the same right to be named on their children’s birth certificates.

 

 

 

LGBTQ Adoption: Redefining Family

How Do Queer Couples Have Babies?

The Berretts: Questions for an LGBTQ Family

Facts on Gay Adoption

20 Families Rejected a Baby with Down Syndrome Until a Single Gay Man Adopted Her
How Gay Dads Respond to "The Mommy" Question

Video: Gay Dads Adopt 6 Siblings

Foster Care Adoption Story: Crystal and Kelly


But the case gave the Supreme Court the opportunity to overturn Pavan and start chipping away at Obergefell‘s right to marriage equality by denying certain rights that opposite-sex couples enjoy. The state of Indiana argued that states have the right to maintain the “biological distinction between males and females” and presume that a mother’s husband is her child’s father.

Since the Supreme Court has moved significantly to the right since 2017, Indiana’s attorney general might have thought that the high court would take him up on the offer to overturn the previous LGBTQ victories. But it did not.  LGBTQ advocates like Shannon Minter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights are relieved that the Court did not take up Box v. Henderson.

Two Twitter Messages:

 

BREAKING: US Supreme Court declines to hear Indiana case on listing both mothers on birth certificate in same-sex marriages.
Appeals Court ruling ordering both moms to be listed on birth certificate remains in place.

SIGH OF RELIEF: SCOTUS just declined to hear Box v. Henderson, a case in which the Indiana Attorney General was trying to strip queer people of equal parenting rights. The 7th Circuit's decision striking down an Indiana law keeping same-sex parents off birth certificates stands.

[Source: Alex Bollinger, LGBTQ Nation, December 2020]

 

Supreme Court Hands Down Victory to Indiana Lesbian Couple

Conservative SCOTUS Announces Another Pro-LGBTQ Decision

Supreme Court Declines to Roll Back Marriage Equality

Birth Certificate Case: Victory for Indiana LGBTQ Families

Indiana Tries to Deny Parental Rights to Same Sex Couple

 

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 Alabama.

 

LGBTQ Adoption: Redefining Family

Two Gay Dads Adopt Six Kids

Rainbow Babies

20 Families Rejected a Baby with Down Syndrome Until a Single Gay Man Adopted Her
Stories of Gay Dads and Their Foster Families

How Do Queer Couples Have Babies?

Gay Foster Parents

Adoption Story: Gay Dads Adopt 6 Siblings

How Gay Dads Respond to "The Mommy" Question

Facts on Gay Adoption

 

 

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]

 

 

Same Sex Couples Can Adopt Children in All 50 States

How Do Queer Couples Have Babies?

Info: Same Sex Marriage

ACLU: Overview of LGBTQ Parenting, Adopting, and Foster Care

Michael and Tyrone: Foster Care Adoption Story

How to Make Adoption a Reality

What They Aren't Telling You About Gay Adoption

Lifelong Adoptions: LGBTQ Adoptions

Greg and Paul: Two Dads Foster Adopt

Lesbian Moms: How We Met

Info: LGBTQ Parents of Straight Children

Find Law: Legal Issues for Gay and Lesbian Adoption

Ron and Greg: Story of Two Gay Dads

Tess and Nikina: Story of Two Lesbian Moms


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