Thanks to a progressing social shift as LGBT rights continue to gain ground, gay adoption is more accessible than ever to prospective parents like you. But, exactly how common is gay adoption, and how many gay parents are there in the U.S.? What percentage of gay couples adopt? What are some other important gay adoption facts that you need to know?
Whether you’re considering adoption as a way to grow your family or you’re just interested in the subject, it’s important to know as much about the process as possible. To help you out, we’ve compiled some same-sex adoption statistics and facts from multiple homosexual adoption studies for your education.
1. Same-sex adoption is just as beneficial as opposite-sex adoption.
One of the most persistent inaccuracies about same-sex parents adopting is that their child will grow up at a disadvantage compared to those who are adopted by opposite-sex parents. The ignorance of this belief is perhaps the most important fact about same-sex adoption to learn. Time and time again, gay adoption research has indicated that there are no detrimental effects to children who are raised by same-sex parents.
2. Joint same-sex adoption is legal in every state of the United States.
Thanks to the marriage equality ruling of Obergefell vs. Hodges, gay marriage is now legal in all 50 United States. That means, where states used to be able to prevent LGBT couples from adopting because of marital requirements, LGBT couples now cannot be denied the opportunity to adopt a child jointly from a public or non-faith-based agency. As an extension of this ruling, a law banning gay adoption in Mississippi was overturned in 2016, making joint LGBT adoption legal in all 50 states.
3. In 2010, there were 115,064 total same-sex couples with children in the U.S.
How does this same-sex adoption fact break down? According to the U.S. Census from that year, there were 43,000 married same-sex couples with children, while 71,000 of the gay couples with children were unmarried.
4. LGBT couples are four times more likely than heterosexual couples to have an adopted child in their household.
In 2013, 13 percent of LGBT families had an adopted child, in comparison to just 3 percent of opposite-sex couples. While this statistic on same-sex adoption is obviously based on the fact that biological children are more difficult to conceive for same-sex couples, it also shows that LGBT couples are more likely to consider adoption in addition to assisted reproductive technologies. In fact, one study estimates that two million LGBT individuals have considered adoption at some point in their lives.
5. Less than one-fifth of adoption agencies are actively attempting to recruit LGBT adoptive parents.
Unfortunately, while there are many LGBT people wanting to adopt a child, not all adoption agencies seem willing to work with them. This is perhaps one of the saddest LGBT adoption statistics and one to keep in mind. If you want to adopt a child, make sure you seek out a progressive adoption agency that welcomes you and is excited to help you make your LGBT adoption dreams come true.
6. An estimated 65,500 adopted children were living with LGBT parents in 2007, and the state with the largest number of LGBT adoptions was California.
Despite the challenges that existed for gay parents hoping to adopt just 10 years ago, many children found their forever family — through an infant adoption or foster care adoption — with an LGBT couple. In a standout LGBT adoption fact, California alone had more than 16,000 adopted children living with gay and lesbian parents.
7. LGBT parents are instrumental to finding homes for foster children.
In 2007, gay and lesbian parents were raising three percent of foster children (14,000 children) in the United States — on par with the national statistic saying 3 percent of the population is homosexual. However, same-sex couples are six times more likely to be raising foster children than opposite-sex couples. Studies show that banning gay and lesbian foster care would cost the country $87 to $130 million in lost child care, with individual states losing as much as $27 million. In another frightening same-sex adoption statistic, five states in the U.S. permit child welfare agencies to refuse to place children with LGBT families hoping to adopt based on religious beliefs.
8. The states with the highest percentage of LGBT parents may surprise you.
Despite more conservative politics, the states of Mississippi, Wyoming, Alaska, Idaho and Montana are those with the highest proportion of LGBT parents raising children — whether biological, adopted or stepchildren.
9. Homosexual adoption studies show LGBT adoptive parents are more likely to adopt transracially.
In an interesting fact about same-sex adoption, same-sex couples are more likely to be interracial than opposite-sex couples. Therefore, it makes sense that these couples are more likely to adopt children of a different race than them — because they are more comfortable already with a multicultural family and promoting tolerance and acceptance, no matter what makes people unique.
10. Adopted children of LGBT couples are generally more self-aware, tolerant and accepting of others.
For gay couples adopting, these statistics actually apply to every child raised by LGBT parents — whether they’re adopted or biologically related to their same-sex parents. Because they grow up in a household that’s accepting of differences and celebrates them, children of same-sex couples receive many benefits. They communicate about their feelings more openly, show more empathy for those who are different and are less restricted by traditional gender roles. This is generally because LGBT parents share household duties more evenly than opposite-sex couples, teaching their children that equality and respect is important in every relationship.
These are only some of the facts about same-sex adoption that may help you decide whether adoption is right for you and your family. Of course, it’s important to learn more about how the same-sex adoption process works and to speak with an adoption professional before committing to this process, but these gay adoption statistics can help you realize that you’re not alone. LGBT adoption is more common than ever, and seeing the proof of it may help you realize that it’s possible for you, too.