Now more than ever, all couples have the opportunity to share in the blessing of raising children together. LGBT adoption is on the rise worldwide, but many people still have misunderstandings or even misgivings about this family dynamic.
Despite so much progress, stereotypes and ignorance about the LGBT community still abounds. This is especially true in the area of adoption, where many LGBT couples are still confronted with discrimination that makes the adoption process even harder.
Here are just 20 quick facts about LGBT adoption to help dispel some myths and maybe broaden understanding.
1. Over 4 percent of children adopted are raised by LGBT couples.
2. Research has shown that around 2 million LGBT couples express interest in adoption.
3. 115,000 of the 594,000 LGBT homes in the U.S. have children.
4. California has the highest number of LGBT adoptions at around 16,000.
5. The states with the highest proportion of LGBT parents with children are surprisingly traditionally more conservative – Wyoming, Alaska, Mississippi, Idaho, and Montana.
6. LGBT adoption is legal in all 50 states, but less than one-fifth of adoption agencies are actively assisting LGBT couples.
7. Around 13 percent of LGBT families had an adopted child in 2013.
8. LGBT couples are four times more likely to have an adopted child.
9. Studies show that LGBT couples are more likely to adopt transracially.
10. Children of LGBT parents have been shown to be more self-aware, empathetic, accepting, and open.
11. LGBT couples beginning the adoption process are generally more educated and financially stable than most in the pool of potential adoptive parents.
12. Adopted children of LGBT couples are more likely to be foreign-born.
13. Research shows that children are more influenced by the interaction and relationship with their parents than by their sexual orientation.
14. Being raised by LGBT parents has not been shown to influence the child’s gender identity.
15. Although legal in the U.S., LGBT adoption is still illegal in many countries throughout the world.
16. Internationally, public support for LGBT adoption is steadily rising.
17. In the U.S., there is more support for LGBT adoption than for LGBT marriage.
18. Studies have shown that LGBT parents tend to me more committed and motivated throughout the adoption process and in raising their children.
19. Children of LGBT parents often say that they do not see gender roles as an obstacle in their lives.
20. LGBT adoption has shown the same benefits for children as any other type of adoption.
The inherent adversity and pervasive stigma that LGBT couples still face in today’s world has been thought to actually improve parenting ability on many levels. As noted above, numerous studies have shown that children raised by LGBT parents tend to express more empathy towards people's differences and more tolerance overall. Adoption is an exciting, yet stressful undertaking for hopeful parents, even more so for the LGBT community. Fortunately, all evidence suggests that this is finally changing and more couples of every orientation are finding it easier to fill their loving homes with children.