Now all states allow same-sex couple adoptions that grant rights to build their families without any obstacles. However, similar to heterosexual couples adoptions laws may vary state by state and it will be important to consider the local adoption laws for eligibility.
- What Does the Same-Sex Couple Adoption Process Look Like?
- What Benefits are there for Same-Sex Couple Adoptions?
- What is the Second Parent Option?
- What is a Co-Parenting Agreement?
- What Considerations Should be Made for Same-Sex Couple Adoptions?
- Do I Need a Lawyer If We are a Same-sex couple that Want to Adopt?
The process is similar to that of the heterosexual couples in terms of cost, wait time and what programs are available. It will require more research and examining different adoption options.
First, the same-sex couple needs to seek out an accepting adoption agency that is open to LGBTQ parenting. The adoption agency will create a profile for the couple that includes information about their:
- Home environment;
- Reasons for seeking adoption or wanting to raise a child and;
- Plans on how to raise the child.
The profile can also consist of photos to showcase the kind of lifestyle the child will be entering into. Additionally, these profiles are later shared with the birth mother to guide her in making the decision of where to place her child for adoption. Therefore, the profile should be genuine, honest and open to illustrate the type of life the child will enjoy after being adopted.
After the profile, the adoption agency will conduct a home study. Generally, someone from the agency will visit the home to examine the home environment and complete a thorough interview with the same-sex couple. This process is to determine if the home is a safe and stable environment for the child to be raised in.
Although, it can seem like a hurdle trying to obtain adoption as a gay couple. There are numerous benefits that include:
- Having children that are more open minded and sympathetic;
- Opportunity to share your lives and enjoy the fruits of parenthood;
- Develop a special relationship with the birth parents of the child and;
- Provide a loving home to a child in need of one.
For same-sex couples, there is only one legal parent even though both individuals share the parenting. This is because the legal parent status is automatically granted to the parent that is the biological mother or father of the child. Although, gay couples raise the child together, some adopting agencies may prohibit same-sex couples from adopting together but allow an LGBTQ person to do so.
The second parent option permits the second parent from adopting the child without infringing on the rights of the first parent. Therefore, this process provides for the child to have two legal parents granting similar rights as the biological parents in regards to visitation and custody.
However, not all states have this option available for same-sex families looking to adopt. But other options such as co-parenting may be considered to co-parent a child together. States differ in their parenting laws regarding same- sex couples therefore it is useful to research the local rules in your state.
When the same-sex couple decides that adoption is the right decision for them. It is suggested to formulate a co-parenting agreement to address the rights and responsibilities of raising a child together. This process can be much smoother with the assistance of a same-sex couple adoption lawyer.
These agreements create certainty in terms of how raising the child will look like. For example, the costs of housing,food, and education. Additionally, if in case the same-sex relationship does end, it is important to honor the parenting agreement to ensure stability of the child’s upbringing. Furthermore, the laws surrounding custody battles for same- sex couples can vary state by state and can be difficult to deal with.
There are still some barriers for same-sex adoptive parents to consider before raising a family of their own and some of them are:
- Domestic adoption is more acceptable of same-sex couple adoptions rather than international adoption because some countries still do not allow gay couple adoptions;
- Studies have shown that there in no negative impact on the child’s sexual identity if raised by same sex couple;
- Since LGBTQ parenting is still a new phenomenon, communities may still be discriminatory towards the parents and children and;
- Creating an open communication with your child and addressing how to navigate the discriminations can be crucial in deterring negative impact on the child.
Some private adoption agencies can still deny adoption on the basis of the parents’ sexual orientation. This is mainly because the agency is a religious-based organization and can make decisions based on the “sincerely held belief” that same-sex couples are not able to properly parent.
If you and your partner in the same sex relationship are considering adopting a child it is time to research your options and find the correct available option for you to raise a family.
There can be barries in this process but states have become more accepting and there has been many gay couple who have successfully adopted children. If you need assistance with the process, you can reach out to your local family lawyer.