Adoption is a life-changing decision. In 2010, Florida repealed its ban on gay adoption, making it legal for LGBTQ+ individuals and couples to adopt children.
While the law is on your side, same-sex couples have unique considerations when embarking on an adoption journey.
Choose the right adoption agency
Ensure you select an LGBTQ+-friendly agency that has experience working with same-sex couples. This step can help streamline the adoption process and make it a more positive experience. You may face unconscious biases or misconceptions with agencies that do not have a background with LGBTQ+ families.
Navigate the home study process
Like all adoptive parents, same-sex couples must go through a home study process. A social worker will assess your home, interview you and your partner and conduct background checks.
Understand parental rights issues
Often, one partner in a same-sex couple is the child’s biological parent. In this case, proper legal procedures ensure that both partners have the appropriate parental rights and responsibilities. A second-parent adoption establishes legal parental rights for the non-biological partner. This important step protects the interests of both parents and the child.
Seek out support and education
Consider connecting with support groups and educational materials designed for LGBTQ+ adoptive parents. These resources can provide valuable information and guidance throughout the adoption process.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that about 43% of same-sex parents have adopted their children. By understanding the legal landscape, selecting the right adoption agency and addressing unique considerations, you can navigate the adoption process successfully and provide a loving home for a child in need.