Not a single study, so far till now, has found the children of lesbian or gay parents to be negatively affected because of their parents’ sexual orientation, at all:
– There is no evidence to suggest that lesbians and gay men are unfit to be parents.
The environment of their homes and their situation back there within same-sex couples, tend to succeed as good as those with heterosexual parents for the child’s development.
– There is no evidence that holds, these children are less smart, or suffer from more problems, bullying, whether they are less popular, known, accepted, or have lower self-esteem than children of heterosexual parents.
In contrast, they grow up as joyful, healthy, happy, and well-adjusted, ready to start their own life and future goals as the children of heterosexual parents.
Both children and same-sex couples, are being targeted over their parenting skills due to their sexual orientation and matters, just as the “supposedly” outcome for their adopting children and future, etc…they later on do the same as to their kids when they start forming their own family, where sexual orientation takes an important place for judging and criticizing which turns out in judges, legislators, professionals, and the public against them as well, in legally issues, mostly concluding in negative outcomes such as loss of physical custody, restrictions on visitation, and prohibitions against adoption for them.
All the beliefs that are held during these circumstances behind this “conflict” and their current situation are made generally in society, often not based in personal experience but on people’s opinions, sayings and old, closed up feelings, in fact, they are culturally transmitted with no real facts or background to support the hate or dislikes (common stereotypes are not supported by any of today’s data).
è Although, the first research on lesbian and gay adults began with Evelyn Hooker’s landmark study (1957) by testing their mental health on 30 different heterosexual men and 30 homosexual men trough psychological tests, such as surveys…
I. Types of Adoption (basics of disclosure rules for same-sex couples, regarding sexual orientation, with respect to the various different types of adoption (such as public agency, private agency, or independent adoption).
– According, to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Children, Youth and Families, a number of different types of adoption, can be organized on different labels based on their child’s origin, the parenting’s qualities, and positivity.
· Some examples of these types could be: Domestic and international adoptions; foster, kinship, stepparent and private or independent adoptions; an adoption by single parents and couples; and same-race and transracial matches.
i. LGBT adoption: One of the most known and specific type is the adoption of children by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people.
The starting dilemmas of this type of families took place in the early 2000s, with a number of legal news, such as state legislatures that wanted to forbid adoption and foster parenting by gay men and lesbians, yet it wasn’t enforced, even if highly demanded.
Until now, in the present, Florida was the only state left to explicitly prohibit gay adoption.
Even though, in September 2010, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal undid the three-decade ban on gay adoption and faced no appeal from the Florida Department of Children and Families, therefore winning the case, where later on, (focusing in now), gay adoption is accepted legally in every state.
– Research form the Urban Institute/Williams Institute came up with the result that, as of 2007, approximately 65,500 adopted children were going to be raised by gay or lesbian parents.
a. Same sex adoption: This kind of adoption concludes in Gay adoption which may take the form of a joint adoption by a same-sex couple, unlike heterosexuals.
An adoption by one partner of a same-sex couple of the other’s biological child (such as a step-parent adoption), or an adoption by a single person who is a lesbian, bisexual, homosexual or a transgender can finally take place in some places around the world.
Same-sex couples wishing to adopt have to go through legal challenges, since it is not yet fully accepted by the society or even known, seen.
i. Learn about same sex adoption (what is gay adoption and how does it work?).
· Gay adoption or also referred to as LGBT is the connection formed by different sexual oriented groups, such as: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
· One type of adoption where the child is adopted by a person of a different sexual orientation from the majority of citizens.
Gay adoption up to date is legally accepted in 14 countries worldwide as well as in various jurisdictions, yet, unfortunately not legal in the rest of the world.
On the other hand, the main worry of these jurisdictions or government bodies is the question regarding a same-sex couple’s ability to offer balance and stability to the adopted child, same as their apparent good parenting techniques or not. The matter of gay adoption is typically not specified by law or deemed unconstitutional, so legalizing the process often takes place through judicial review and via judicial opinion.
ii. Cases (what to know about the history of same-sex adoption).
· Most of the important moments in the history of gay adoption have only happened in the last 40 years.
Before the 1970s and 1980s (when the gay rights movement really began to take place), homosexuality was rather illegal and/or rare to talk about. Therefore, it was difficult for LGBT parents to adopt without legal issues or even try and fight for their rights.
· Gay adoption history is scarce until the second half of the 20th century, as mentioned previously as it wasn’t until the civil rights era of the 1970s and 1980s that the history of gay adoption and gay civil rights, started generally to mark monumental events and officially make appearances.
As LGBT individuals began to fight for their right to get married, and form their own families by having children, they would manifest and show their disagreement, and discomfort thanks to making LGBT prides, marches, etc., so it would get shared more often, better and easier.
In the 1980s and 1990s, many LGBT individuals started having children through fertility services like insemination and surrogacy, just now day’s advanced techniques, no matter the reason behind it.
However, it remained illegal for many same-sex couples to adopt a child together because they could not get married (many states’ adoption requirements for couples include being married), but for those who did adopt a child, they had to do so on their own after finding a professional who was open to placing a child with an LGBT individual or couple in order to take care of the child’s welfare.
Though it wasn’t until the new millennium that landmark moments in the history of same-sex adoption were achieved and accomplished by their protesters.
iii. Tax Credit (how two court cases changed the history of gay adoption in the U.S).
Same-sex adoption will only be progressively accepted and lead towards equality when laws to make homosexual marriage legal start happening neutrality, even if Massachusetts becoming the first state to do so in 2003 has shown the progress of the situation.
– … “In Obergefell v. Hodges, as an example, until 2015 before a case was brought to the U.S. Supreme Court challenging laws against gay marriage in the entire United States, the federal court ruled that the Constitution guaranteed a right to same-sex marriage, making it legal across all 50 states for same-sex couples to finally get married”…
Same as it was a celebration it became chaos due to the special importance for those hoping to adopt children, as many LGBT couples could not adopt a child jointly due to marriage requirements in their state still; but if now they could get married, there would be no legal reason that they could not adopt a child together.
Unfortunately, other states had laws that were more focused and detailed on the matter, forbidding all LGBT couples from adopting a child, no matter their love statuses.
– In 2016, a federal judge struck down a Mississippi law banning adoption by same-sex couples. This federal decision blocked one of the last legal obstructions to same-sex couples hoping to adopt.
Today, thanks to these federal rulings, same-sex couples’ right to adopt child exists, either married or individually, both are always welcomed options, especially when Adoption and foster care are suffering losses, and is protected throughout the U.S.
Despite these challenges, LGBT adoption in the United State is more possible than ever — and, as LGBT individuals keep turning to adoption, it has become a normal, beautiful way to create a family in the 21st century.
II. The ultimate Gay Adoption Guide.
i. Objections and Support Associated with Gay Adoption.
– Children up for adoption are in need of housing and caring, loving people, where supporters of such group defend the position of parenting techniques or the ability to create a family and how is not related to sexual orientation or their beliefs.
– In contrast, opponents to gay adoption have been suggesting that due to gay adoption, later on, children could have to face a bigger chance of depression, promiscuity, drug use and suicide in regards to the parents. Additionally, the absence of a male or female role model could precipitate maladjustment and tough learning.
ii. Adoption and Foster Care (adoption and foster care by gay and lesbian parents in the United States).
An increase in number of lesbians and gay men forming their own families through adoption, foster care, artificial insemination and other means, frequented in the last decade.
One of the examples could be, The United States which is now facing a foster care and adoption crisis with lack of people willing to take care of responsibilities and lonely, hurt children.
The other place would be in Arkansas, where the foster care system does such a poor job of caring for children that it has been placed under court supervision, as otherwise the numbers would keep decreasing, contributing to the hard time of adopting.
iii. Foster and Adoption Laws.
Recognizing that lesbians and gay men can be good parents, takes longer and more than expected.
State agencies and courts now apply a “best interest of the child” rule and check up to decide the solution of the cases.
Under this approach, a person’s sexual orientation cannot be the base for taking away the opportunity of adoption and same- sex couples interaction with children unless it is proven that it causes harm to a child — a claim that has been routinely disproved by social science research. Using this law, more than 22 states up to now have allowed lesbians and gay men to adopt children either through state-run or private adoption agencies.
– In contrast, some states are still — relying on myths and stereotypes to base their knowledge and thoughts on the situation –
For instance, two states (Florida and New Hampshire) have laws that deny the opportunity to even try and adopt.
– One specific case was back in 1993 where a decision was made only based on people’s sexuality in Virginia, concluding in Sharon Bottoms’ 2-year-old son having been taking away from his mother, simply because of her sexual orientation, ending up in the transfer of the custody to the boy’s maternal grandmother after court.
iv. The adoption process.
Gay adoption such as a step-parent adoption or an adoption by a single person who is a lesbian, bisexual, homosexual or a transgender takes these steps:
– To be adopted, a child must: – Be under the age of 18 when the adoption application is made. – Not be (or have never been) married or in a civil partnership.
– The child’s birth parents: Both birth parents normally have to agree (consent) to the adoption, unless:
o They can’t be found.
o They are incapable of giving consent, e.g. due to a mental disability.
o The child would be put at risk if they weren’t adopted.
– Who can adopt a child?
You may be able to adopt a child if you are 21 or over (there’s no upper age limit) and either:
– In a civil partnership.
– An unmarried couple (same sex and opposite sex).
– The partner of the child’s parent.
There are different rules for private adoptions and adoptions of looked-after children.
To adopt a child you can go through either: – an adoption agency that’s part of your local council or a voluntary adoption agency.
– In first place, we have to contact an adoption agency; they’ll send you information about the adoption process.
– In second place, the agency will arrange a meeting, possibly with other people wanting to adopt a child.
– In third place, when an agreement has been made, you will receive an application form from them.
These processes, takes approximately up to 6 months in the U.K, in contrast to outside the EU.
Time is precious during these processes, as it:
– Carries on to the Adoption assessment:
– Invite you to a series of preparation classes- these are normally heldlocally and give advice on the effect adoption may have on you.
– Arrange for a social worker to visit on several occasions to carry out anassessment- this is to check you’re suitable to become an adoptive parent.
– Arrange a police check- you will not be allowed to adopt if you, or anadult member of your family, have been convicted of a serious offence, e.g. against a child.
– Ask you to provide the names of 3 referees who will give you a personal reference. One of your referees can be a relative.
– Arrange for you to have a full medical examination.
Once your agency decides you can adopt, they’ll begin the process of findinga child for you to adopt. Your agency will refer you to either the:
– Adoption Register for England
– National Adoption Service for Wales
They will do this immediately or 3 months after you’ve been approved to adoptif they’re not actively considering a local match with a child. The registers hold details of children across countries that need adopting.
v. Adoption application.
Applications are done at the Family Court, by doing this the adopters need to send a fill out form document, and to make an adoption legal they need to apply for Adoption Court Order that provides adopters parental rights and responsibilities in which the process as follows:
– The child must have lived with you for at least 10 weeks before you apply.
Once the order has been sent in:
– The adoption becomes permanent.
– You get an adoption certificate – this will show the child’s new name and replaces the original birth certificate.
– The child has the same rights as if they were your own birth childe.g. the right of inheritance.
The order also takes away parental responsibility from:
– The child’s birth parent(s).
– Anyone else who has parental responsibility for the child.
III. Gay and Lesbian Adoptive Parents: Issues and Concerns (general overview of the various challenges, difficulties, and changes in the law with respect to adoption by gay and lesbian couples, including a brief history of same-sex parenting).
Cultural stereotypes and misperceptions, about gay and lesbian adoptive families create these following worries:
· “Will Children of Gay or Lesbian Parents Be Teased or Harassed?”
– Many become an easy target for bullying, and teasing, especially when approaching the teenage years and alienation.
– Unfortunately, more than many people realize, this problem has tremendous negative psychological effects and is likely to cause long-term damage in their everyday life.
“Many gay and lesbian parents have dealt with various prejudices their entire lives, and are well aware of the challenges a child of their own may face. Instead of perceiving themselves as victims, many gay and lesbian parents see it as an opportunity for positive growth and self-examination that will encourage their children to develop tolerance and empathy for people”.
· “Is There Greater Likelihood Children Raised in Homosexual Households Will Become Gay?”
– The majority of research indicates there is no greater likelihood of children becoming homosexual if their parents are gay or lesbian versus children who are raised by heterosexual parents. Furthermore,
· “Will Children Develop Problems Growing Up in a Homosexual Household?”
– The overwhelming majority of studies conclude that children of gay or lesbian parents don’t have different maturity change than the kids of heterosexuals.
i. Legal Issues for Gay and Lesbian Adoption (basic information about the various legal rights and responsibilities pertaining to adoption by gay and lesbian couples).
– The child’s welfare issue becomes a political issue, as the dangers multiply.
Public health agencies should always keep the interest of the child first and foremost. But this should be done on a case by case basis trusting the professionals that the state hires or appoints to make these decisions. If the health care’s officials are shown to put children in unhealthy situations of any kind, those officials need to go to court and face actions.
IV. Life after Adoption (overview of some common challenges faced by same-sex couples raising adoptive children, such as finding support from the community and explaining sexual orientation to children).
– All families at one time or another will have to explain sexuality and their experiences with their kids to create better, honest bond, sharing important values — love and respect, commitment and understanding. It is especially important when talking with children to stress what these values mean to the family, and to recognize that there are many different cultures, communities and families around the world, accepting them or not.
· There are different organizations offering help with sensitive matters, such as this one, as once an adoption is completed, the business of family life begins. Like all adoptive parents, gay men and lesbians are seeking ways to incorporate their children into their lives and to help them make a smooth transition. They also want to meet other homosexuals who have taken on the challenge of parenting. There are a growing number of support groups to meet these needs.
:Listen closely to your child, and when possible let your children take the lead. Let them ask questions. Take cues about their level of understanding from the questions they ask, and interact at that level.
Be as clear as you can be about your own feelings connected to sexuality, coming out, privacy, and family values.
Consider your child’s age and how much information they need.
A vital support network of family and friends is important for any family — adoptive, biological, one with heterosexual parents, or one with homosexual parents.
V. Legal Status of Gay Adoption around the World:
– Get in touch with an adoption lawyer to review your case and tell you the differences.
Gay adoption is now legal in the following countries:
· Andorra, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom: Northern Island is unclear on gay adoption, Uruguay.
i. Gay adoption by same-sex couples and where they are currently legal in the following jurisdictions.
· Mexico City, Mexico, Western Australia, Australian capital Territory and New South Wales, United States: Washington D.C., New Jersey, New York, Indiana, Maine, Connecticut, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, Florida and Guam.
ii. Background on gay adoption and the Largent anti-gay adoption amendment.
The Largent amendment will set up barriers in adoptions in the District of Columbia to married couples and single-parent individuals.
The reality of adoption policy in general is this – there are way more children than there are good homes available for them. The Largent amendment takes care of those loving homes for children who need them.
iii. Largent Amendment Background.
– In Massachusetts in the mid 1980’s then Governor Michael Dukakis (D) enacted a policy that placed a categorical ban on gays serving as adoptive or foster care parents.
In 1998, anti-gay organizations launched a nationwide campaign to politicize this issue by introducing legislation around the country which would ban gays from being considered as adoptive or foster care parents under any circumstances.
(In the rest of the states, judging the best parent and best home for each child in the foster care and adoptive system is based on a case-by-case review. The interest of the child, not the parent, is the guiding principle for placements in all states but Florida).
– In 1997, the Child Welfare League of America estimated there were 500,000 children in America in foster care homes. Of those, 100,000 need to be adopted, but in 1997 there were only 20,000 adoptive parents available (Petit, M. & Curtis, P. Child Abuse and Neglect: A Look at the States, 1997 CWLA Stat Book, Child Welfare League of America, Washington, DC 1997, p. 72, 124.). These children are often viewed as “unadoptable” because they are often minority children or adolescents and/or may have significant health problems. (In the Child’s Best Interest: Defending Fair and Sensible Adoption Policies, April 1998, ACLU, p. 1-2.) These children end up floating between foster homes throughout their childhood.
– In fact, studies have shown that among the total number of children sexually abused in foster or adoptive care, 99.3% were in the care of heterosexual parents. The myth of gays “recruiting” is disproved by simply looking at all of the gay people today who grew up in the care of heterosexual parents. There is not one study which shows any connection between being gay and having gay parents.
Every scientific study has shown that gays make excellent adoptive parents. For this reason, America’s largest child welfare organization, the Child Welfare League of America recommends no categorical bans on gay parents. They recommend that public health officials, not politicians, make these decisions on a case-by-case basis, based on a thorough background check and home study.