International Handbook on the Demography of Sexuality pp Cite as. This chapter explores demographic factors related to gay male and lesbian adoptions, and corresponding family policies. First, I provide background on adoption law and policy.
At gay pride marches around the country this month, there will be celebrations of marriage, a national right that, at just two years old, feels freshly exuberant to many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. But while questions of marriage are largely settled, same-sex couples who choose to have children still face a patchwork of laws around the country that define who is and who can be a parent. This introduces a rash of complications about where L.
But they were important to Alice Prussin. Shortly after the Berkeley, California, resident adopted Rina, she made sure to take the toddler to a local pool. She got it.
The prevailing professional opinion is that a parent's sexual orientation has nothing to do with his or her ability to be a good parent. The nation's leading child welfare, psychological and children's health organizations also have issued policy or position statements declaring that a parent's sexual orientation is irrelevant to his or her ability to raise a child. Many also have condemned discrimination based on sexual orientation in adoption, custody and other parenting situations and called for equal rights for all parents and children.
A Florida appeals court unanimously decided last month that a state ban on adoption by gay men and lesbians was unconstitutional Florida Governor Charlie Crist also said that the state will stop enforcing the law. But several states still unfairly target gay men and lesbians who want to adopt or foster children. These policies should be overturned.
Jackson is one of 65, adopted children being raised by same-sex parents in the United States, according to a March report compiled by the Urban Institute and the Williams Institute at University of California at Los Angeles School of Law. The same report estimates more than 14, foster children were living with one or more gay or lesbian foster parent. Roach and his longtime partner, Ken Manford, adopted Jackson from Guatemala in and say he is not overly bothered by the non-traditional character of their family.
Joint adoption by same-sex couples is legal in twenty-seven countries as well as several subnational jurisdictions and dependent territories. Furthermore, some form of step-child adoption is legal for same-sex couples in five countries. Given that constitutions and statutes usually do not address the adoption rights of LGBT persons, judicial decisions often determine whether they can serve as parents either individually or as couples.
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We first hear of out LGBTQ parents around the time of World War II, mostly in the context of cases that denied them child custody after divorce from different-sex, cisgender spouses. Several other states continued to ban unmarried couples, though, effectively stopping same-sex couples from adopting until marriage equality became federal law in In the s, too, female couples and single women increasingly began to start their families together through pregnancy.
From the earliest days of adoption in England, it has been possible for single people regardless of sexual orientation to adopt. Same sex couples could not adopt and although adoption agencies helped many couples by approving one of the couple singly, it took a change in law from December to allow adoption orders to be granted to unmarried couples including same sex couples. The majority of adoption agencies now have experience of assessing, approving and placing children with LGBT adopters and the UK is now one of the world leaders in this respect. There has been encouraging research recently into parenting by lesbian and gay adopters.