No state regulations explicitly prohibit single LGBTQ individuals from petitioning to adopt. Nonetheless, the adoption process for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents differs. There are always hurdles (some expected and others unexpected) during an adoption, but there will be specific issues that arise for couples who are not opposite sex. Keeping this in mind can help prepare potential parents better prepare for the process.
It should be some consolation that there are approximately 3 million lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) Americans who have had a child. Moreover, about 6 million American children and adults have an LGBTQ parent. According to a 2010 report, Kentucky had 1,328 same-sex couples raising an average of two children each. About half the children came from the state’s foster care system.
Common milestones in the process
Every adoption story is unique, but these are essential matters to address:
Picking the right adoption agencies: Many adoption agencies are faith-based organizations, so couples should work with an agency comfortable with LGBTQ parents. Finding the right agency can take some time, and the wait can be longer.
Filing out applications: Parents should work through all their emotions and find answers before doing the paperwork. Ask yourself whether you are emotionally, financially and physically prepared to take on this challenge.
Considering the different types of adoption: Types include open and closed, age-based, mixed-race, stepparent, and other variations.
Create an adoption profile: Similar to the goals of other online profiles, parent profiles need to stand out. It should be memorable and express personality, values and loves. Sharing personal stories can help individualize the profile.
Complete the home study: Every adoptive parent does a home study, which means that a case worker comes to the home. It can be stressful for any parent but highlight the living space as safe and suitable for children. A little dust or a crooked picture is fine. Remember that these are scheduled well in advance, so there are no surprise appearances.
Learn about the birth parents: Many adoptions still have birth parents or birth families involved in the lives of the children. Fostering a connection or relationship with the family starts by learning about the parents.
Create a post-placement plan: Adoption is not a make-it-up-as-you-go situation. There need to be plans for schooling, daycare, parenting obligations, and other responsibilities that every parent faces.
Need help sorting through the details?
The adoption is only complete with handling all the legal details. Experienced adoption attorneys also can provide information and support to ensure that parents can jump the adoption hurdles as they arise.