Gay and lesbian adoption is a progressively changing process domestically and internationally. There are no national laws outlawing gay and lesbian adoption. However, states reserve the right to pass laws that may restrict or openly accept gay and lesbian adoption options. A majority of states prefer to keep their laws vague and take any contested cases to court. Private agencies also reserve the right to refuse placement to those who they do not believe would make suitable parents. For some agencies and birth mothers (if pursuing an independent adoption), a person's sexual orientation is an important and relevant factor to one's ability to be an effective parent.
The state of Florida is thus far the only state that fully bans all forms of gay and lesbian adoption. Other states may have partial laws that directly address gay and lesbian adoption. California fully accepts gay adoption.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, there are three different gay and lesbian adoption rights that are under question in state laws. The first of which is whether a gay or lesbian individual can petition to adopt a child. Some states do not allow unmarried couples to adopt, this would affect gay individuals and couples, obviously. Other options include being able to jointly file for the adoption of a child. The last option that could be available to gay and lesbian adopters is the adoption of a partner's child.
Resources and information for gays and lesbians seeking to form families by adoption. Find information on changing laws, current policies and practices, LGBT-friendly services, personal perspectives, support groups, and position papers
Please note, that the laws regarding gay male and lesbian adoption change frequently. The best source for current information is the Human Rights Campaign web site at: hrc.org/laws-and-legislation/state/c/adoption.
Gay & Lesbian Adoption - Gay Adoption Services. If you and your same-sex partner are interested in adopting children, be sure to read this section for helpful tips and information on your rights in the United States.
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