Navigating the LGBTQ+ Adoption Process
Over the past several decades, more LGBTQ+ couples have chosen adoption to grow their families. The United States Census reports that between 2 and 3.7 million children under the age of 18 have an LGBTQ+ parent, that same-sex parents are more than 6 times as likely to become foster parents and more than 4 times more likely to pursue adoption as a path to parenthood.
Choosing the type of adoption that’s right for your family
When it’s time to decide what kind of adoption is right for your family, LGBTQ+ couples have a lot to consider. There are three main types of adoption to pursue: domestic infant adoption, international adoption, and foster care adoption. Let’s explore all three.
Domestic Infant Adoption for LGBTQ+ Families
In the United States, LGBTQ+ couples may pursue domestic infant adoptions in all 50 states. However, some states have recently passed faith-based adoption legislation which makes adoption more challenging for LGBTQ+ individuals. If you are considering a domestic infant adoption, it is important to choose an adoption agency or professional who is welcoming to LGBTQ+ families and understands the legal framework in your state. Connecting with an agency that is accredited by the HRC is most beneficial.
International Adoption for LGBTQ Families
Once considered the most accessible type of adoption available to American families, international adoptions have become more complex in recent years. Adoption agencies completing international adoptions are bound by the Hague Adoption Convention, which guides adoption ethics and principles. Under these conventions, agencies must respect laws and standards put into place by the countries in which children are born. For LGBTQ+ couples pursuing international adoption, this can present unique challenges. LGBTQ+ couples and individuals interested in pursuing an international adoption should inquire with their placement agency about specific country restrictions related to LGBTQ+ adoption because guidelines vary greatly. Adoptions Together, a program of Paths for Families, welcomes to opportunity to complete international home studies for LGBTQ+ couples and individuals if you meet intercountry eligibility requirements.
Foster Care Adoption for LGBTQ+ Families
Adopting from foster care has many benefits. It is one of the most affordable ways to adopt a child, and local departments of social services make adoption through foster care readily accessible for families from all backgrounds. LGBTQ+ families may adopt children from foster care if they pass the required home study and training. At Adoptions Together, a program of Paths for Families, we work with dozens of LGBTQ+ couples each year who choose adoption from foster care to expand their families.
Choosing an LGBTQ+-Friendly Adoption Agency
Choosing an agency with a proven track record is important for any family pursuing adoption. For LGBTQ+ couples who want to adopt, finding an LGBTQ-friendly adoption agency is paramount. Since its inception, our agency has served on the advisory board of the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children, All Families project, which connects LGBTQ+ families with agencies seeking to provide comprehensive adoption services to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender adoptive families. As an Innovator status agency, we are proven to be well-prepared to serve all families with compassionate adoption service.