For Many Same-Sex Couples, Adoption Is Still More Difficult
Many same-sex couples have been hoping to adopt children for years, and recent decisions about the legality of same-sex marriage in the United States have left some hopeful. However, reports of adoption being especially difficult for same-sex couples have been circulating, indicating that discrimination in the field of adoption is, unfortunately, still alive and well.
The discrimination, although not exactly always upfront, has been described as rearing its ugly head through “a lot of feet dragging” when it comes to agencies helping same-sex couples with adoption. Some couples find themselves fostering several children on an emergency placement, temporary basis, then having to give that child up to another foster parent. Others find themselves in a category called “pre-adoptive status,” where the child is technically available for adoption, but everything is still in court and the couple doesn’t even have a court date set. Meanwhile, years pass by with the child in their care—a child who has come to know them as parents.
Best Interests of the Child
According to organizations like AdoptUSKids that assist LGBT couples with adoption, adopting straight out of foster care may be their best hope: in 2014 alone, over 50 percent of kids adopted were adopted by their foster parents. Much like child custody and proceedings surrounding parenting time and scheduling, child welfare adoption is also centered on what is in the best interests of the child. This means taking into account any attachments that the child has formed to foster parents since being available for adoption and minimizing the number of moves they have to go through.
Blatant Discrimination against LGBT Families
As of now, is is estimated that there over 400,000 children in foster care here in the United States, with approximately one-fourth of them available for adoption. As of now, data has not been collected concerning same-sex couples being approved for adoption, but those who work in the field anecdotally describe them as facing many more challenges. Some of these challenges are described in a report AdoptUSKids put together for Congress so that lawmakers could better understand what kinds of hurdles LGBT families are facing in the process. Same-sex parents being discriminated against was one of the main themes highlighted, with some couples even describing that they were told agencies did not feel comfortable leaving a child in their care because of “what the child might see.”
In the midst of individual, one-on-one discrimination, some states have even been enacting legislative bans on adoption by same-sex couples; one such ban was recently struck down by a federal judge.
LGBT Adoption Attorney
We are here to help LGBT couples with any family law issue, including adoption. At the law office of Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, we provide family law services to all couples and pride ourselves on serving members of the LGBT community. Contact us today so that we can assist you.