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ADOPTION
 

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LGBTQ Adoption Statistics

 

Of the 594,000 same-sex couple households in the United States, 115,000 have children. Some people say that children need both a mother and a father to raise them, but there are many others who believe that gender does not matter when parenting. Over the years, the number of children living with LGBTQ parents has risen tremendously. As the trend continues, that number will only increase, as same sex adoption and parenting becomes more and more widely accepted.

 

 

Researchers estimate the total number of children nationwide currently living with at least one gay parent ranges from 6 to 14 million. An estimated two million LGBTQ people are interested in adopting.

 

Gay and lesbian parents are raising four percent of all adopted children in the United States. More than 16,000 same-sex couples are raising an estimated 22,000 adopted children in the United States. More than 16,000 adopted children are living with lesbian and gay parents in California, the highest number in the United States.

 

Same-sex parents in the United States are four times more likely than different-sex parents to be raising an adopted child. Among couples with children under the age of 18 in the home, 13% of same-sex parents have an adopted child, compared to just 3% of different-sex parents. The median age of same-sex adoptive parents is 42, as opposed to 44 for comparable opposite-sex parents.

 

 

Same-sex couples in all states can petition for joint adoption statewide. Couples may be required to be in a legally recognized relationship, such as a marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership. States that explicitly allow same-sex couples to petition for a second parent adoption include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington DC, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.

 

Adoption Finalized for Alabama Couple

Info: Home and Family

NOLO: Gay and Lesbian Adoption and Parenting

Same Sex Couples Can Adopt Children in All 50 States

Info: Same Sex Marriage

ACLU: Overview of LGBTQ Parenting, Adopting, and Foster Care

What They Aren't Telling You About Gay Adoption

Info: LGBTQ Parents of Straight Children

Family Equality

 

LGBTQ Adoption Facts

 

For many, LGBTQ adoption is still a new concept, and the image of a “perfect” family includes a mother and a father of opposite sexes. We know this is a just a stereotype. Today, more and more gay and lesbian couples are becoming parents, whether through artificial insemination, a surrogate or LGBTQ adoption.

 

Almost 40% of all agencies and 83% of public agencies reported making at least one adoption placement with a lesbian or gay man. However, one-third of agencies would reject a gay or lesbian applicant, either because of the religious beliefs guiding the agency, a state law prohibiting placement with LGBTQ parents, or a policy of placing children only with married couples. Additionally, agency heads are more likely to have negative views towards gays and lesbians adopting when they associate such adoptions with greater evaluation and support needs.

 

 

Here are some additional facts supporting gay adoption:

 

There is no reliable evidence that homosexual orientation impairs psychological functioning. And, beliefs that lesbian and gay adults are not fit parents have no empirical foundation.

 

Good parenting is not influenced by sexual orientation. It is influenced most by a parent’s ability to create a loving and nurturing home. This ability has nothing to do with whether the parent is gay or straight.

 

There is no evidence to support claims that children of lesbian and gay parents are less intelligent, suffer from more problems, are less popular, or have lower self-esteem than children of heterosexual parents.

 

 

Research suggests that sexual identities (including gender identity, gender-role behavior, and sexual orientation) develop in much the same ways among children of gay and lesbian parents as they do among children of heterosexual parents.

 

There is no conclusive evidence that homosexuality is linked to one's environment. In other words, growing up in a same-sex couple household will not "make" a child gay.

 

Steve & Trevor Plus Four Sons
Heidi & Karla Plus Twelve

Ricardo & Jesse Plus Four Sons
Denis & Hugo Plus One Infant

Mignon & Elaine Plus Two

 

Cari & Kim Plus Khaya

 

Cari Searcy and Kim McKeand legally married in 2008. Cari Searcy's partner, Kim McKeand, had given birth to a baby boy, Khaya Searcy, in December 2005, with the aid of a donor. Searcy then sought to become the adoptive parent of the child, who bears her last name. Adoption would give Searcy rights to make medical decisions for the child as well as securing the sense of family in their home.

 

In July 2015, Baldwin County (Alabama) Circuit Court Judge James Reid granted the adoption for Cari Searcy in Mobile County Probate Court. His approval of the measure ended a winding and politically fraught legal battle for Searcy and her wife Kim McKeand, Khaya's biological mother.

 

 

Their four-year-long quest to adopt the child led to a federal judge overturning the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

 

"It was such a surreal feeling to hear the judge say that it is in the best interest of this boy to have two legal parents," Searcy said. "For me, that's when I broke down. It's very emotional and a day we've been waiting for a long, long time."

 

Searcy first filed paperwork in Mobile County Probate Court in 2011 to legally adopt the boy, whom she has raised since birth. After a brief hearing, Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis rejected the petition in April 2012, citing the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals later upheld that decision.

 

In February 2015, a federal judge ruled that Searcy could not be denied her desire to adopt Khaya, clearing the way for same-sex marriage in Alabama.

 

But hours before the law legalizing same-sex marriage was to begin, Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered the state's probate judges to withhold same-sex marriage licenses pending the US Supreme Court decision on the matter.

 

Searcy filed a second lawsuit after Davis indicated he would not give final approval of the adoption until after US Supreme Court case resolved the same-sex marriage issue. The US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in June 2015, striking down any remaining barriers to Searcy's adoption.

 

At the courthouse, Khaya, 9, was dressed for the occasion, wearing a gray suitcoat, a blue button up shirt, dress pants, and a plaid clip-on tie. Clutching a brown teddy bear, he said, "It's good that I finally have two legal parents."

 

[Source: Casey Toner, Alabama Media Group, July 2015]

 


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