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Gay Adoption: What You Should Know

Lesbian couple with daughter

Modern families are more diverse than traditional ones, especially when it comes to adoption. Now single parents, same-sex, transracial and multi-cultural parents can have families through adoption. Stats on same-sex adoption shows gay couples account for the highest percentage of people adopting kids.

The survey, further indicates that gay couples are seven times more likely to raise an adopted child and seven times more likely to raise a foster child. Admittedly, adoption is the best way for same-sex couples to realize their dreams to become parents.

However, LGBTQ couples have faced challenges over the years as some states don’t provide equal adoption rights. In the past, LGBTQ parents pursuing an open adoption needed to follow a hierarchy of preferred parents to adopt a child.

Thus, some agencies only offered children with special needs while non-LGBTQ parents could adopt younger and healthier kids. Luckily, the tide has since changed as more private agencies are choosing same-sex couples for adoption. Also, all the 50 US states have made adoption legal for same-sex couples. The next part of the text explains the adoption process for LGBTQ couples.

Find Out Your Options

Once the couple has decided to adopt a child, it is imperative to research adoption possibilities available for LGBTQ. They include:

Public agency adoption: This option is ideal for couples looking to adopt a child in foster care from a public child welfare system. Such kids are older and have been alienated from their birthparents due to neglect or abuse

Open independent adoption: In this scenario the couples set out find birth parents who want to place their child in an adoption. The couple completes the adoption process through a lawyer

Agency open adoption: The couple visits an adoption agency to help them adopt a child

International adoption: The couple decides to adopt a child from another country independently or through an agency

Prepare for the Home Study

A home study involves someone from the adoption agency visiting the couple’s home to conduct an interview and examine if the home provides a safe and stable environment for a child. Displaying some of your best photos, a relaxing wallpaper and being comfortable around your partner creates a homey perspective of your environment.

Some gay couples lie about their status to adopt a child. For example, one partner files for adoption and the other pretends to be a friend or a roommate. While it is legal to omit such information, it is illegal to lie when asked particular questions. It is in bad taste and you may be denied adoption or an already established placement disrupted.

Create an Adoption Profile

Couples that have decided to adopt through an adoption agency need to create an adoption profile just as heterosexual couples. The profile shows details about the couple’s life, plans on how you will raise the child, reasons for adopting, photos to showcase your home.

Be sure to provide honest information and demonstrate the life you intent to offer the adopted child. The agencies share the profiles with birth mothers planning to put up their kids for adoption to help them determine which family to choose.

Acquaint Yourself with the Laws of the State

While same-sex adoption is legal in all the states, the laws vary from one state to another. It is especially the case when the couples are pursuing a joint adoption, step-parent adoption or when the parents are adopting a child together. As such, it is essential for couples to learn about eligibility requirements to adopt a child in your state.

Consider Second Parent Adoption

For gay couples, only one partner is allowed to adopt. As such, the other partner needs to apply to the court as a co-parent or second parent. Second parent adoption is a common option for couples that don’t want to enter a civil union as they don’t need to have a legally-recognized relationship.

The option is also ideal when one of the partners already has a child when entering the relationship. Second-parent adoption allows the child to have another legally-recognized parent who can provide the same rights and responsibilities as normal families.

The alternative is also protects the rights of the non-biological parent in case the biological parent dies, the family travels or the couple gets divorced. While more states are allowing couples to include their names on the birth certificate, it does not establish parental rights.

State laws largely determine parental rights for same-sex couple couples and they vary from one state to another. For example, where an anonymous sperm has been donated to a lesbian couple, the court may grant parental rights to the donor and not the couple.

 

 

Eboné Bell
Eboné is the Editor-in-Chief of Tagg Magazine. She is the illegitimate child of Oprah and Ellen...so it's only right that she continues their legacy in the media world.