Many gay, married couples hope to one day adopt a child and introduce a new member into their family. However, there are certain rules, regulations and laws for adopting a child, which sometimes include specific guidelines for gay couples. Adopting a child will also require a certain amount of forethought and preparation on the couple’s behalf. Location, laws, economics status and health all play a part in the adoption process for gay marriages.
First of all, not all states in the U.S. recognize gay or same-sex marriage. Iowa, New York, Maryland, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut have all legalized same-sex marriage at the state level. Idaho, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Utah, Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Lousiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alaska and Alabama have all banned same-sex marriage at least at a state level. The other states are undecided, grant union marriage-like rights or recognize same-sex marriages only if they are performed in a separate state. If a couple cannot get married, it is less likely that they will be able to adopt.
Like with any couple wishing to adopt a child, a gay couple must consider the following aspects of adoption before proceeding:
Gay couples may also face the eventual responsibility of explaining their lifestyle to their child. In a world where heterosexual couples are much more advocated than homosexual, it is natural for children to both have questions and receive them from their peers. Parents may need to address inquiries such as ‘why do I have two dads?’ or later on, more universally adoption-oriented questions, usually regarding the child’s biological parents.
The adoption process for same-sex marriages is typically the same as for heterosexual ones. The couple must go through a number of background checks, evaluations, observations and court proceedings – not to mention the child must also accept the new family. Gay married couples can adopt through accredited adoption agencies. Some agencies reputed to show more support for same-sex adopting couples include Family Focus Adoption in New York, Adoption Alliance in Colorado and Family Builders in California.