- Understand the legalities of adoption in your region/country.
- Explore various adoption options to suit your needs.
- Work with an LGBTQ+-friendly agency for support and guidance.
- Connect with other LGBTQ+ parents for peer-to-peer support.
- Prepare your home to ensure a safe transition for the child.
Adopting is a beautiful experience that is open to everyone. However, adopting as an LGBTQ+ parent comes with challenges and hurdles, often not inclusive of heterosexual couples. It is essential to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and your experience will be unique.
LGBTQ+ Parents in The U.S.
It’s estimated that nearly 15% of same-sex couples have adopted children in the U.S., and many more are considering adoption. A 2016 survey found that LGBTQ+ parents were twice as likely to adopt than non-LGBTQ+ respondents and cited being open to parenthood without biological procreation as a major factor.
Here’s what you need to know when adopting children as an LGBTQ+ parent.
Understand the Legalities of Adoption
First and foremost, be aware of the legalities of adoption in your state/region/country. It is essential to do your research and try to understand the laws and processes surrounding adoption. It’s essential that you also know your existing LGBTQ+ parenting rights. These rights cover your legal status as an adoptive parent, parenting rights over your child, and access to parental benefits. This also includes understanding the types of adoption available to you as an LGBTQ+ parent. For example, in some countries, joint adoption is not legal for same-sex couples. Knowing what is allowed and what is not will help you avoid legal issues.
Explore Your Adoption Options
It’s no secret that multiple adoption options are available to prospective parents, but it’s crucial to understand which path is best for you. Do you want to adopt locally or internationally? Do you want an open or closed adoption? Do you want to adopt a newborn or a child closer to the age of your existing children? These questions will help you select a route to adoption that suits your needs best. It is also essential to remember that adoption is a lengthy process, so be patient and don’t rush into any decisions.
Work with an LGBTQ-Friendly Adoption Agency
Working with an LGBTQ+-friendly adoption agency with a good track record of successful adoption will make the process easier and less stressful. The agency has an in-depth understanding of the specific concerns and challenges faced by LGBTQ+ parents, and they can provide the support and guidance needed. Don’t shy away from asking them about their experience working with other LGBTQ+ parents and the policies they have in place to ensure fair treatment to everyone.
Find Support in the LGBTQ+ Community
Adopting can be lonely, but finding support within the LGBTQ+ community can be transformative. Talk to other LGBTQ+ parents about their experiences and journey. Locate support groups or online forums where you can connect with other parents and share your story. Peer-to-peer support from like-minded individuals who have walked the same path can help you manage stress and help you stay focused on your end goal.
Prepare Your Home for Adoption
Before bringing your child home, it is essential to prepare your home for the new arrival. Safety is of utmost concern, and modifications might be necessary, such as childproofing drawers and child safety locks on cabinets. You can also prepare a clean, bright, and welcoming space for the child to settle into. Preparing your home in advance, you’re helping make the transition smoother for you and your new family member.
Steps to Take When Adopting a Child as LGBTQ+ Parents
You must know the steps to take when adopting a child. Here are the four steps of the adoption process:
First, it’s essential to know the various adoption routes. This includes understanding the different kinds of adoptions available to LGBTQ+ parents, such as domestic and international adoption, foster care adoption, private agency adoption, and relative/step-parent adoption.
Research & Education
Research your options and educate yourself about the process. Learn about the legalities involved in various countries and states, requirements for prospective adoptive parents, and other vital details.
Apply to initiate your adoption journey. Depending on your chosen adoption route, you’ll need to meet specific requirements for approval.
Await Placement & Finalization
The last step is awaiting the placement of a child with your family and finalizing the process legally. If adopting locally or through foster care, the process can be completed in a few months. International adoptions may take longer.
Adopting a child as an LGBTQ+ parent is an amazing journey that brings immense joy and fulfillment to your family. With knowledge of the legalities and steps involved, support from like-minded people, and preparation for welcoming your new family member into your home, you can make this experience positive and rewarding for everyone.