Adoption is an amazing journey that helps place children in loving homes where they can grow and flourish. For those within the LGBTQ community, adoption offers same sex couples the opportunity to start their own families. However, while attitudes toward same sex couples and the LGBTQ community have changed for the better in recent years, there are still various complexities involved in the process of same sex adoption.
Why do same sex couple choose adoption?
Biological limitations prevent same sex couples from conceiving children naturally. Some same sex couples may choose methods of assisted reproduction such as surrogacy or IVF to conceive children who are biologically related to at least one parent. It is ultimately up to prospective parents to choose what method works best for their family. Researching all of your options is recommended.
In the United States, nearly a quarter of same sex couples are raising adopted children. Expectant parents match with same sex couples on the basis that they will love and care for their adopted child. With more progressive laws and education, public attitudes toward same sex couples raising children are changing for the better. More and more expectant parents are matching with same sex couples every day.
Restrictions Against Same Sex Adoption
For the most part, the United States has a very progressive stance toward same sex adoption. Court rulings following the 2015 decision to legally allow same sex marriage have leaned in favor of removing restrictions against same sex adoption. In fact, the only state that has a firm law against same sex adoption is Mississippi. Despite a judge overruling laws in the state that prevented same sex couples from adopting, the law is still upheld in Mississippi.
Recently, Kansas and Oklahoma have adopted laws that allow religious-based groups to turn away gay couples seeking to adopt on the grounds that it violates their religious beliefs. Tennessee is close to ratifying a similar law. These laws simply protect religious organizations’ right to continue the practice legally, as it has gone on in the past.
Same sex prospective adoptive parents should seek out agencies that are open to working with the LGBTQ community and have a history of successful placements. Adoption Choices is happy to abide by Colorado’s laws regarding same sex adoption and has a long history of placing children with same sex couples. Here are some tips to follow when searching for an LGBTQ friendly adoption agency:
- Ask questions – If you are concerned about whether or not an agency is experienced in working with same sex couples, then it is best to be upfront about it. You should voice your concerns from the beginning to ensure that they are addressed at a pertinent time. Your agency may also be willing to provide you with references from previous clients.
- Get Recommendations – Friends and family members who have gone through the process of adoption as a same sex couple are excellent resources when it comes to finding the right agency. Their experience with the process can help you to identify your needs when it comes to finding a supportive agency.
- Go Online – There are online forums and groups that are specifically tailored to provide advice and tips to same sex prospective adoptive parents. Facebook is a great way to find these groups and get firsthand accounts of the experiences of other same sex couples.
Same Sex Adoption Myths
There are a lot of harmful myths that negatively affect prevailing attitudes regarding same sex adoptions. These ideas have gained traction over time despite a lack of evidence to support them. Here are some common questions regarding the negative effects of same sex adoption and research-backed answers.
Q: Is it better for children to have a male parent and a female parent?
A: The benefits of being raised by two loving parents cannot be ignored. However, studies have shown that same sex parents have no inherent limitations when it comes to parenting. The same study states that: “…there is no evidence to suggest that lesbian women or gay men are unfit to be parents or that psychological development among children of lesbian women or gay men is compromised relative to that among offspring of heterosexual couples.”
Q: Are children with same sex parents more likely to be gay themselves?
A: The belief is still very prevalent among those opposing same sex adoption. However, there is not a single study that supports this claim. In fact, most gay individuals were raised in households that were headed by heterosexual couples. That alone should be enough to dispel the idea that an individual’s sexuality directly correlates to their parent’s sexual preferences.
Q: Will a child with same sex parents be bullied more for it?
A: There is no reason to believe that a child with same sex parents is more likely to be bullied than any other child. Unfortunately, bullying affects most children for various reasons, none of which are ever justified. No research suggests that children of same sex couples are bullied more than any other children.
Same sex prospective adoptive parents should do research on everything from LGBTQ friendly agencies to the laws of their state. Unfortunately, there is still not a universal acceptance of same sex adoption across the United States. However, same sex couples deserve the opportunity to raise families, and agencies like Adoption Choices of Colorado are happy to make that happen. We will help you to navigate the complexities of the adoption process and support you on your journey!
Adoption Choices of Colorado
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or by calling: 303-670-4401.
Make an Impact
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
Davina grew up in the outskirts of New York City, before eventually moving to Buffalo, New York at the age of 10. Her passion for adoption comes from her own experiences of being in foster care and being an adoptee herself. She hopes to help others to understand the intricacies of adoption and encourage them to consider it as an option.
Davina is a proud Geneseo Knights alum having graduated in 2018. She has been writing for as long as she can remember and chose to pursue a degree in English with hopes of making her hobby a career. Thus far, she has enjoyed her time as an intern for Adoption Choices Inc. and looks forward to a bright future in writing. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, building websites, and making lists.