LGBTQ+ couples have been expanding their families through adoption for quite some time. Since laws have changed over the years, more adoption options have become available. The adoption process varies from gay, lesbian and other LGBTQ+ couples. Before adoption, there are some procedures to be followed to determine whether you are fit to adopt.
Types of Adoption Options
After couples agree to adopt, they should do some research into adoption possibilities. Same-sex couples can research types of adoptions such as traditional adoption, international adoption, and foster care.
- Traditional adoption: This term refers to a family infant adoption in which the privacy of the adoptive parents and birth parent is maintained.
- International adoption: This is when you adopt a child from outside your country through a permanent legal process.
- Foster care: This is temporary custody for kids whose parents are dead or are unable to look after them for various reasons. Remember, in some states, the same-sex couple should be in a legally recognized relationship to be eligible adopters.
Now that you think that you need to be parents, you should ask yourselves the following questions before you start the process:
Public or Private Agency?
Public child welfare agencies are government institutions that provide a safety net for families. Each state and county has its own body of social services for caring for children and youth in foster care, and those separated from their families are eligible for adoption. Lots of states and public child welfare organizations recognize LGBTQ+ applicants as excellent candidates to parent youths in their care.
However, the disadvantage of public agencies is the lengthy period and the bureaucracy involved before the process is complete. The advantage of using public agencies is low or no cost for adoption plus short-term financial support to help you take care of the new child.
Private agencies are licensed and are regulated by the states they are in and are mostly non-profits. Most LGBTQ+ adults opt to use private agencies, especially those that are LGBTQ+ friendly. Although these agencies are costly, applicants prefer them since they are treated well and can choose the type of infant or youth they prefer to adopt.
What Kind of a Child Would You Like?
Think about the type of child you would like to have. Remember that adopting a child is sorely for the advantage of the child and not yours. Would you like a girl or a boy? Why do you prefer a girl over a boy and vice versa? If they develop challenges, will you be able to support them? If they have a high need for attention, will you be able to offer it? And most importantly, will you put their happiness before your own?
Are you Capable of Bringing Up a Child?
Buying clothes, food, affording weekly allowance, and saving for college is critical in a child’s life. However, there is much to be a capable parent. Children need unconditional love. They need you to be interested in what they are doing and be there for them when they need you. If you can do this and more for their benefit and satisfaction, you can go ahead with the adoption process.
These are just but a few questions you need to ask yourself before embarking on the life-changing step of adopting a child.
Steps to Take in Adoption Process
Like anyone looking forward to adopting, the adoption agency will require LGBTQ+ couples to have an adoption profile. The profile includes details about your life, reasons for adopting, home, plan on how you will raise the child. The profile should also have photographs of the home where the child will live.
The adoption profiles are shared with the biological mothers who put their children up for adoption to choose the right family for their children.
Your profile should be honest, open, and give a clear illustration of the life you can offer the adopted child.
The Adoption Home Study
This is one of the obstacles in the adoption process. At this stage, a person from the adoption agency will visit your place for a personal interview to determine whether it is safe enough for a child.
In some cases, gay couples lie about their status so that they can adopt. Lying about specific questions can be considered fraud, and you can be denied adoption.
Second Parent Adoption
When a same-sex couple adopts, one partner may adopt while the other applies for a second parent or co-parent. You don’t need to be in a legal relationship for you to apply for a second parent. This is more appealing for gay parents who do not want to get married or be in a civil union.
The second parent is also common when a partner enters into a relationship with a child, and the other partner wants to be a parent to the kid.
Child Welfare Concerns
There are lots of studies done to determine how children are raised in same-sex unions. Sometimes these studies are biased depending on who conducted them. Same-sex couples show positive results while religious groups think otherwise.
There are concerns about child’s understanding of sexual orientation and whether they will develop emotional challenges due to living with gay parents.
Fortunately, there isn’t single research showing that children with same-sex parents are disadvantaged than those living with heterosexual parents.
After adopting a child, the new parents need support from family and friends. In some cases, gay people isolated by their parents and families find that their family members come around more often when after adopting children.
Those with no support from their loved ones can turn to online platforms to get an idea of becoming better parents to their adopted children every day.