The New York Times reports that the incidence of same-sex couples adopting children has increased sharply. Although only two states — Utah and Mississippi prohibit same-sex couples from adopting, they face significant legal hurdles in about half of all other states. Primarily, this is because they cannot legally marry in those states. Gary Gates, a demographer at the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law at the University of California, Los Angeles, was quoted as saying that about 19 percent of same-sex couples raising children reported having an adopted child in the house in 2009, up from just 8 percent in 2000.
Advocates for gay families say are two distinct trends are reasons for the increase in these adoptions: the need for homes for children currently waiting for adoption —(now about 115,000 in the United States) and the increased acceptance of gays and lesbians in American society.
Advocates say that more adoption agencies and social workers are seeing same-sex couples as a badly needed resource for children in government care, that children waiting for a family really need foster and adoptive parents, and it doesn’t matter what the relationship is. Moira Weir, director of the job and family services department in Hamilton County, Ohio was quoted: “If they can provide a safe and loving home for a child, isn’t that what we want?”
The entire article may be read here: Tavernise, Sabrina. Adoptions by Gay Couples Rise, Despite Barriers, New York Times, June 13, 2011. [Last accessed June 14, 2011.] Thanks to James P. Ryan, Family Lawyer in Plymouth, Michigan for the heads up on this trend.