You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
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Gay Adoption Facts: Love, Marriage, and then…
Now that the Supreme Court has legalized gay marriage, schoolyard wisdom dictates that it won’t be long before newly-married gay couples are looking to start families. For many of these couples, adoption is a great option for bringing a child into a loving home. But what are the facts on gay adoption? Which states still have discriminatory laws in place, and what’s the adoption process like for a gay couple?
Gay Adoption Facts vs Myths
Opponents of gay adoption like the frame their arguments in terms of child welfare, propagating myths like:
- The only acceptable household for a child is one with a mother and father married to each other.
- Children adopted by gay couples are more likely to become gay themselves.
- Kids raised by gay couples are more likely to experience bullying and harassment by their peers.
The truth is, none of these arguments ever had any basis in reality. Study after study has found that kids raised by gay parents are as socially well-adjusted, happy, and healthy as kids raised in “traditional” environments. Besides, the idea of parents’ sexuality determining a child’s is completely ridiculous to any gay person raised by straight parents.
Kids raised by #GayParents are socially well-adjusted, happy, and healthy. Click To Tweet
In a recent survey, over two million gay people responded that they would be interested in adopting. With over 400,000 kids in the United States foster system, allowing gay couples to adopt could mean that many kids who would otherwise be at a higher risk for homelessness, drug abuse, and unemployment could instead be placed in loving, supporting families.
State-by-State Facts on Gay Adoption
Before the Supreme Court ruled on gay marriage, options for gay adoption depended largely upon the state in which a couple lived, and the decision was often ultimately left to a judge on a case-by-case basis:
- Joint adoption: sixteen states, including California, Colorado, and Nevada, explicitly allowed same-sex couples to adopt
- Second-parent adoption: in states like Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Vermont (among others), one partner could legally adopt their partner’s child
- Explicitly prohibited: gay couples in Mississippi were legally prohibited from adopting
With gay marriage legalized nationwide, couples in any state can now begin adoption procedures and be recognized and treated as a couple throughout the process, from initial paperwork to home visits and classes. The adoption procedures can still take up to a year, but married gay couples can be confident that both of their names will appear on adoption paperwork when it’s all signed, and their efforts won’t be blocked at the last minute.
Legalized #GayMarriage ensures adoption procedures recognizes #LGBT couples. Click To Tweet
The Supreme Court’s ruling also clears some hurdles for married couples going through the second-parent adoption procedure, since a second parent in a gay couple can now be legally recognized as a step-parent.
What’s the Adoption Process For Gay Couples?
A gay couple or individual can begin the adoption process by contacting an adoption agency. Finding the right agency can be a long and difficult process on its own, and you’ll have to make sure to find an agency that respects your family situation and your desire to adopt. Many adoption agencies are participating in the Human Rights Campaign’s “All Children – All Families” initiative, which helps to educate adoption agencies about LGBT families, and highlight opportunities for gay couples and individuals to foster and adopt.
Remember: you don’t necessarily have to go through an agency in your state! If you feel more comfortable working with an out-of-state adoption agency that’s participating in the All Children – All Families initiative, or a highly-recommended out-of-state agency, then you will probably have a more successful adoption process than you would with an agency you don’t like.
Gay Adoption: Out With the Old
With gay marriage legal nationwide, the conversation around gay adoption may soon need to be completely rewritten. More gay couples in more states will soon be starting adoption procedures, and they’ll be able to approach adoption agencies with greater confidence, knowing that their dreams of having a family will not be blocked by bigotry in the state judicial system, and it’s exciting to know that so many adoption agencies are already getting on board.
Have you gone through the adoption process? Do you have any tips for couples considering this momentous step? Be sure to let us know!