Facts and Figures: Same-Sex Adoption Statistics
- As of 2016, LGBTQ adoption was effectively made legal in all 50 U.S. states.
- Today, LGBTQ individuals are coming out earlier in life and an increasing number of same-sex couples are planning and creating their families through assisted reproductive technology (ART) and surrogacy, as well as adoption and foster care.
- As of this last decade, an estimated 6 to 14 million children have a gay or lesbian parent. And, between 8 and 10 million children are being raised in gay and lesbian households.
- The states with the top percentages of gay and lesbian parents are: Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, California, New Mexico and Alaska, with the state of California having the highest number of adopted children living with same sex parents.
- LGBTQ couples are four times more likely to have an adopted child than their counterpart different-sex couples.
- According to a press release by UCLA’s Williams Institute, same-sex couples that adopt children are more diverse in socioeconomic status and ethnicity, contrary to popular misconceptions that they are predominantly white, urban and wealthy.
- According to a Review of Research Prepared for American Sociological Association Amicus Brief, in the United States, studies reveal that children raised in same-sex parent families fare just as well as children raised in different-sex parent families across a wide spectrum of child well-being measures including: academic performance, cognitive development, social development, psychological health, early sexual activity and substance abuse.
- According to a 2014 Gallup poll, a majority of Americans say same-sex couples should have the legal right to adopt a child. Young people between the ages of 18 and 29 are most likely to support the idea, with 77% saying same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt. Support for same-sex adoption declines with each successive age group, but even among those aged 65 and older, a slim majority, 52%, believe same-sex couples should be legally permitted to adopt. Americans’ support for adoption by same-sex couples is higher than their support for same-sex marriage.
- There are measures in some states that allow state as well as private-funded agencies to refuse to place children with unmarried or gay prospective parents.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Gay and Lesbian Adoption
In a private US adoption, how is LGBTQ adoption different from heterosexual adoption?
In US foster care adoption, how is LGBTQ adoption different from heterosexual adoption?
In international or intercountry adoption, how is LGBTQ adoption different from heterosexual adoption?
We talked about it… and we want to adopt. What should my partner or myself expect from a home study?
Are the wait times for LGBTQ adoption longer than heterosexual adoption?
LGBTQ Adoption Preparedness Checklist: Am I Ready to Become a Parent?
Have I/we come to this decision on our own?
- It is important to minimize the affects that outside sources are having on your decision to parent and adopt. Regardless of what society, your friends and family, or anyone else says, everyone should carefully consider whether or not parenting and adoption is right for them.
- It is not uncommon for two partners to have different thoughts on parenting and adoption. It is critical that both partners communicate and come to a unified decision.
Am I financially able to support a child?
- The cost of raising a child varies from region to region but raising children is expensive. It is important that a prospective parent is aware of the cost of raising a child before embarking on parenthood. You can use this calculator to determine the costs of raising a child based on your income and where you live.
Do I have the time and energy to devote to a child?
- Money is not the only resource that a prospective parent should take stock of before deciding on adoption, as it is even more important that one has the time and energy to devote to that child. Before welcoming a child into your home, understand that you may need to adjust your work and social schedule in order to prioritize being a parent.
If I have a partner, do we have a stable relationship?
- Young children are heavily influenced by their environments so it is crucial that the relationships that are shaping them are both healthy and affirming. No relationship is perfect but having a child will not fix problems that are already present so before you decide to bring a child into your life it is vital that you make sure your proverbial ‘house’ is in order.
- Adopting a child comes with its advantages and its challenges. As a parent, you need to make sure that you and your partner are internally ready to raise a child. Communication during the pre-adoption phase is key. Always check in with your partner to see how they are feeling throughout each stage of the process.
Making the decision to adopt will be a life changing decision for any family, regardless of whether they are heterosexual, gay or lesbian. It is important to make sure you do your research and evaluate the different types of adoption that are available to make sure that you choose the route that is best for your family.