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Gay Adoption Basics

6 Gay Adoption Basics to Know

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Gay adoption is nothing new as gays and lesbians have been adopting for a long time, but only recently have gay adoptions been done more openly.

Note: Stay up-to-date on gay adoption and other adoption & foster care issues with my weekly newsletter.

1. Adoption Options for Gay Parents

Learn more about the gay adoption process.
David Friedman / Getty Images

There are several types of adoption that gay couples can explore from foster care adoption to international. It all depends on whether the agency, the state and/or the country are open to gay adoption. But the first real question to ask is whether adoption is for you and your family.

2. The Adoption Home Study & Gay Adoption

Gay and lesbian adoptions have become more common in recent years.
Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

The adoption home study is one of the first hurdles in the adoption process. In the past, and perhaps in some areas of the country still today, gay couples have lied in order to adopt. Usually with one partner adopting and the other pretending to be a roommate or a friend. But it is necessary to realize the importance of honesty when adopting. It is legal to omit information, it is not legal to lie when asked a specific question. Lying in this instance is considered fraud and may be cause for an adoption to not occur or for an already established placement to disrupt.

3. Gay Adoption by the Numbers

As many argue over whether gay adoption should be banned, many children thrive in gay families.
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The exact number of gay couples who have adopted is unknown due to the fear society seems to have regarding gay parenting. But, here are a few statistics on gay and lesbian adoptions.

4. The Fears Around Gay Adoption & Gay Parenting

A little girl dances with one of her dads. There are several homosexual parents in the U.S.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Many studies have been done on same sex couples in order to see how children in these unions are being raised. The studies are often biased based on who has done the research. Gay and lesbian groups show positive results, while religious or conservative groups show negative. Many of the concerns are centered around understanding sexual orientation and if children will develop problems from having gay parents. But research has not found a single study showing that children of gay or lesbian parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect. Still there are other concerns:

5. Gay Adoption Legalities and Issues

Frank Martin Gill, a gay foster parent, stops to spend time with one of his foster sons.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
It is more common for one partner to adopt and then for the second to apply as the second parent, or co-parent. Second parent adoptions creates a second legally recognized parent for the adoptive children. This is the only way for gay couples to both become legal parents of their children. Second parent adoptions have been granted by the courts in twenty-one states as well as D.C.

6. Support & Resources for Gay Parents

A 5 month old baby girl enjoys time with her family.
David Friedman/Getty Images
After the adoption is final or when your first foster care placement moves in...life goes on. All families need support from family and friends. Some gay couples find that their parents, who may at one time have been upset when they came out, come back around when grandchildren enter the picture. Hopefully you have lots of support in your "real world", for more support check out these resources. It's also a good thing when kids can read books about families just like their own.

I hope this information is of some benefit. May the best happen for all involved as we work to help children find homes and families.

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