If you’re considering adopting a child as an LGBT individual, one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is the adoption professional you work with. While there are some organizations that may refuse to work with LGBT couples, there are also plenty of LGBT adoption agencies and professionals who are willing and excited to help you add a child to your life.
Whether you work with a local agency, a national agency or an attorney, it is important to choose a professional that is experienced in adoption and open to gay couples like yourselves. But, with so many professionals who want you to adopt with them, how do you find a gay-friendly adoption agency that is perfect for your family’s goals?
Proper research before selecting an adoption agency is key to finding the perfect fit for you, especially for same-sex couples who are looking for adoption agencies that work with gay couples. There are several steps you can take to make sure an adoption agency you’re considering is LGBT-friendly.
Check the HRC’s All Children-All Families List
The Human Rights Campaign’s All Children-All Families project promotes LGBT cultural competency among child welfare agencies. The project gives resources for organizations and individuals to learn more about working with LGBT families and children, including trainings and assessments that address non-discrimination policies. Once an agency meets the program’s benchmarks, they are placed on a list with fellow same-sex adoption agencies for families like you to choose from.
Find a full list of participating agencies (for foster care and private domestic infant adoption) here.
Thoroughly Interview Prospective Gay Adoption Agencies
While many adoption professionals will tell you they’re open to same-sex couples and willing to work with you, you should do your own research before deciding to work with them. For example, they may welcome you into their agency but take no additional steps to make sure you are protected from discrimination or feel comfortable if they normally work with heterosexual couples.
As they’re interviewing adoption agencies, gay couples should make sure to find a professional environment that they feel comfortable in. The best way to determine this is by speaking with the professional and asking pointed questions about how LGBT-friendly they are.
When you are considering an adoption professional, find out how many same-sex couples they have worked with in the past. When viewing a website, look for inclusive language, and if you call to speak to them, ask some of the following questions:
- How many LGBT couples have successfully completed adoptions with you?
- What is the typical wait time for same-sex couples?
- Do you provide counseling and support for helping LGBT parents?
Your adoption professional will be your partner during your adoption journey, and choosing the right one will play an important role in helping you have a successful adoption. Some other same-sex adoption agencies to consider are:
Connect with Other LGBT Adoptive Families
Another way to discover potential LGBT adoption agencies is by getting the opinion of other LGBT families who have already completed the adoption process. Entering into the adoption process on your own can be scary, so it’s always helpful to learn more about the realities from someone who has already been through it.
There are many support groups for gay adoptive parents that you can reach out to. Not only will these individuals help you understand what to expect from the adoption process, but they can also give you advice on which gay-friendly adoption agencies to choose and what to look for in an adoption professional to ensure the smoothest possible process.
Your sexual orientation shouldn’t be a factor in what kind of adoption services you receive — which is why it’s so important to find a gay-friendly adoption agency that is excited to help you through this family-building process. There are plenty of welcoming and open-minded adoption professionals out there, so take the time to find the one that’s right for you with these steps — and you’ll finally have a happy child to call all your own.