In the past ten years, the number of gay men approved to adopt has increased exponentially. An estimated 16,000 same sex couples are raising more than 22,000 adopted children in the US. These adoptions are finally being encouraged as they become more widely accepted. Research now shows that same sex couples are four times more likely than their different sex counterparts to raise an adopted child. With many more children living in same sex parent families, adoption agencies have been more willing to consider gay men as prospective adopters.
Adoption Choices of Colorado is here to lend a helping hand to any gay man considering adoption. Single, married, or a couple, it’s important to consider all aspects of adoption, such as the stigmas you may face as a gay father, and you don’t have to do it alone. We have your back!
PUSHBACK GAY DADS FACE
Raising an adopted child comes with its own unique challenges, and, as an adoptive gay father, you will face a host of issues and questions that your straight counterparts may never have to consider. How important is it to have a biological tie to my child? Will I have to hide my sexual orientation in order to speed up the adoption process? Will my child face social hardship? Parenting should be centered around a journey of discovery and learning and being a father. Unfortunately, despite the wide spread acceptance of homosexuality, gay dad adoption comes with additional realities you should prepare yourself for.
Some say children need a mother and father. This is an argument many anti-gay activists use. Individuals claim that a child’s well-being has a negative impact when he or she lacks both a male and female parent. But gay men can raise children just as well as their heterosexual counterparts. Don’t forget that!
Adoption agencies are often religiously affiliated, and can and have used this as a means to discriminate against same sex couples. Unsupported myths about the quality of care gay parents can provide are still having negative implications against perfectly qualified couples. Some adoption and foster care agencies, citing their religious beliefs, refuse to place children in the homes of same sex couples. Others will place children only with Christian parents. Some state laws specifically grant religious adoption and foster care agencies the right to refuse same sex parents. It’s sad to say that this is at the expense of children in need of homes and loving families. Make sure to research potential adoption agencies!
Opinions will hurt. While attitudes toward gay dads are improving, you unfortunately may still face prejudice and discrimination from people in your community. Be prepared to talk to your child about the many ways families are made and how he or she can respond to potential negative comments. After all, families should be overflowing with love and support. Together, you can combat an outsider’s negative and unwanted opinion!
Paternity leave may not be guaranteed. Maternity and paternity leave in the United States are far from ideal. For families with two dads, the decision to take paternity leave is often made more difficult. Same sex adoption presents a few challenges to family leave, depending on your circumstances and state of residence. Talk with your employer!
In states with less equal rights, gay men who wish to become fathers may be less likely to become a parent, and those who do become parents are more likely to experience negative stigmas directed toward them.
GAY DADS MAKE GREAT DADS
Preparing to become a parent is an exciting — but sometimes nerve-racking — process. Like any other prospective parent, you might question whether you can really be the parent you’ve always wanted to be, but you may also wonder whether your child having same sex parents will impact their childhood and lives.
Research has shown time and time again that there are no differences between same sex parenting and opposite sex parenting. Children who grow up in same sex parent families are just as likely to be happy and successful as those who grow up in opposite sex parent families. As long as you are willing to put in the time, effort and love that your child needs, your sexual orientation won’t make a difference.
A new study by a researcher in the University of Montreal has found that gay dads make great parents. Éric Feugé observed 46 families, including 92 gay fathers and 46 children aged between one and nine, over the course of seven years for his doctoral thesis. He wanted to study the engagement of gay fathers and see how they distribute parental work in their households.
Feugé found that gay parents are very involved in their children’s lives and that gay dads tend to share the workload of parenting in an equitable way. The study also showed that gay fathers were able to have many different roles within the home as they were less constrained by conventional notions of masculinity. Gay dads could be playmates, caregivers, protectors, role models and morality guides.
Time and time again, gay dad adoption research has indicated that there are no detrimental effects to children who are raised by same sex parents.
GAY DAD ADOPTION
As adoption rates for gay dads continue to climb and society continues to be more accepting of different family types, more hopeful men are choosing to complete their families through single and same sex couple adoption.
Remember this: one of the most persistent inaccuracies about same sex parents adopting is that their child will grow up at a disadvantage compared to those who are adopted by opposite sex parents.
At Adoption Choices of Colorado, we know that love is love! We don’t discriminate against same sex adoptions. If you’re a single or married, gay man looking to adopt, please know that you’ll be welcome with open arms. We want to help every child find their forever home, and we know you’re more than capable of offering them a life they’ve only dreamt of: one full of love.
Adoption Choices of Colorado
For more information on adoption please contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or phone 303-670-4401.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Patience Bramlett, a University of Southern Mississippi news editorial graduate, is a seasoned and award-winning freelance writer. She is also a passionate reader, whose only wish is to live life without fear of the unknown. Her motivation and inspiration to live her best life stems from the words of John Lennon:
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
This year, she’s joining Adoption Choices Inc. as an Editorial Intern. Fueled by her love of family, she hopes to educate those looking to grow their families through adoption.
When Patience is not exploring Colorado with her husband, she’s drinking coffee, forever figuring out how to tame her hair, growing her library, and trying to break into the publishing career.
Dunlevy, T’Cha. “Gay Dads Make Great Dads: UQAM Study.” Montreal Gazette, 8 Feb. 2019, montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/gay-dads-make-great-dads-uqam-study.
Gates, Gary. “PDF.” The Williams Institute, Feb. 2013.
“Obergefell v. Hodges.” SCOTUSblog, www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/obergefell-v-hodges/.
Purdy, Chase. “Science Is Debunking the Lie That Kids of Same-Sex Parents Are Psychologically Worse-Off.” Quartz, Quartz, 3 July 2018, qz.com/1320434/new-research-debunks-old-science-about-the-negative-effects-of-same-sex-parenting/.
Rapaport, Lisa. “Gay Fathers Face Stigma as Parents.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 15 Jan. 2019, www.reuters.com/article/us-health-lgbt-gay-dads/gay-fathers-face-stigma-as-parents-idUSKCN1P92TS.