Gay Adoption Supported by the Facts
According to the ACLU on their website, researchers estimate that between six to 14 million children in the United States are living with at least one gay parent.
The American Psychological Association in its publication Gay and Lesbian Parenting concluded: “There is no evidence to suggest that lesbian women or gay men are unfit to be parents or that psychosocial development among children of lesbian women or gay men is compromised relative to that among offspring of heterosexual parents. Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children’s psychosocial growth”. An article, Same-Sex marriage and children’s well being: Research roundup appearing in June 26, 2015 online edition of Journalistsresource.org provides a plethora of research studies on the subject.
Gay Adoption After the Supreme Court Ruling on Gay Marriage
In the landmark case, Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that the right to marry is a fundamental right guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Equal Protection Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Justice Kennedy in his closing, writing for the Court: “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right”.
While these are beautiful words embodying respect and justice for gay rights, what is extremely important to understand when adopting as an LGBT couple is the protection of parentage rights for both parents which is more complex than for heterosexual couples. In an article by Tara Siegel Bernard appearing in the June 14, 2015 edition of The New York Times, Same-Sex Parents’ Rights May Be Unresolved After Justices’ Ruling, Emily Hecht-McGowan, director of public policy at the Family Equality Council cautions: “Marriage does not solve all”. Ms. Hecht-Mc-Gowan states that while marriage “provides innumerable protections, rights and responsibilities to married couples and parents raising children in a marriage” she notes that “it doesn’t come close to solving all of the legal and recognition issues that same-sex couples and their children face”. The “legal and recognition issues” of which she speaks concerns the fact that parental recognition does not always follow marriage. If a married couple lives in a state that clearly imparts parentage rights based on marriage, then everything is okay; however, not all states’ laws base parentage rights on marriage. If the married couple lives in a state where marriage does not automatically impart parentage rights or if the married couple move to, travel to, or obtain a divorce in a state in which marriage does not impart parentage rights, the non-biological parent risks not being granted parentage rights of non-biological children.
Protecting Parentage Rights of Gay Couples
The best way for a gay couple to ensure that parentage rights of both spouses, including the spouse who is not biologically related to the child/ren, is to obtain an adoption decree or other court order. The reason is that under the Fair Faith and Credit provision of the U.S. Constitution, states must recognize court orders of other states though courts in one state are not obliged to recognize state laws of another state.
Adopt America Understands Gay Adoption
Having an agency that has knowledge and resources available to help you navigate these waters is essential. Adopt America not only supports LGBT adoption, we understand the challenges faced by gay couples. For more detailed analysis of important issues for gay adoption, visit our article, Florida Gay Adoption..
Adopt America provides home studies for LGBT prospective adoptive parents residing in Florida whether single or married. Adopt America’s home study process in unparalleled in offering advice and consultation on the adoption process. We also refer home study clients to a variety of attorneys and agencies who provide placement services for minimal or no upfront fees. APPLY NOW to begin your home study!
Adopt America works with expectant mothers throughout the United States and many today are seeking LGBT parents for their unborn children.