As the nation continues to evolve towards equality in sexual orientation and away from the discrimination of LGBT populations, LGBT adoptions are on the rise. Many individuals and couples seek to add to their families, but are unaware of what options are available. In many states, LGBT couples enjoy the same adoption qualifications as heterosexual couples. It is important to check the adoption laws for your particular state.
Adoption can be a complicated process for anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation. The best place to start is to familiarize yourself with the requirements, procedures, and paperwork that will be a part of their journey. LGBT individuals must also begin be deciding which of the four types of LGBT adoption best fits their needs.
Single Parent Adoption
Single (non-coupled) LGBT individuals wanting to adopt a child would use this type of adoption. For example, a single parent adoption would be appropriate for a single lesbian woman or single gay man who decides they would like to adopt a child. It is the least common type among all LGBT adoptions.
Second Parent Adoption
Second parent adoptions take place in situations where one member of a couple already legally parents a child. If the other partner wishes to be a legal parent of that child, the original legal parent can give equal legal parental rights to their partner through a formal adoption.
Step-parent adoption is similar to second parent adoption, except the couple must be married in order to qualify for this type of adoption. After getting married, the original legal parent gives full legal rights to their spouse through formal adoption.
Joint adoption allow LGBT couples equal participation in the adoption of a child. They share equal legal rights. Some states require that the couple be married to do this. At one time, this was an obstacle, but now that same-sex couples are eligible for marriage all over the nation, it is no longer a concern.
All roads lead to the adoption of a child and the joy of adding to your family. It is best to consider which type makes the most sense for you and your partner. It is essential to remain informed of specific laws that may discriminate against certain types of adoption in specific states.
If you’re unsure how to proceed on your adoption journey, an adoption specialist at LifeLong Adoption can help you decide which route is the best fit for your family. While you excitedly consider the great adventures of parenthood, remember that there is a child out there somewhere for you. All the paperwork and obstacles will be well worth it once you get to hold your baby for the first time!