What’s an LGBT adoption agency?
As of 2016, it’s illegal to ban same-sex couples from adopting. Technically, then, LGBT couples can work with any adoption agency they wish, provided that can meet each agency’s requirements, which may include marriage. This does not mean, however, that all adoption agencies are gay-friendly adoption agencies.
LGBT adoption agencies are professionals that are not only ready and excited to help same-sex couples adopt, but they should also have experience with doing so successfully in the past. When looking at adoption professional websites, you’ll want to look for inclusive language. If the agency has posted profiles of hopeful adoptive families, look at how many of the couples are same-sex couples. It’s also a good idea to ask some LGBT-specific questions, such as:
- What counseling or support do you offer for LGBT parents?
- Have you successfully worked with LGBT couples before? How many?
- What’s the estimated wait time for same-sex couples? For heterosexual couples?
Just because any adoption agency can technically complete an adoption for you (and may be legally required to do so) doesn’t mean that all agencies are fully prepared to do so successfully. Using a truly LGBT-friendly adoption agency is a great way to make sure your adoption process goes as smoothly as possible.
What types of adoption can an LGBT-friendly adoption agency help with?
LGBT adoption agencies can help you pursue any kind of adoption you wish. Naturally, you’ll want to look at gay-friendly adoption agencies that also specialize in your preferred type of adoption, which might be any of the following:
- Domestic Adoption
- International Adoption
- Relative Adoption
- Adoption from Foster Care
- Adult Adoption
- Embryo Adoption
- Special Needs Adoption
Many LGBT adoption agencies also specialize in stepparent adoption, or second-parent adoption, which is a popular form of adoption for same-sex couples. If you and your partner don’t pursue a joint adoption (or couldn’t pursue a joint adoption prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage), it’s important to make sure each of you have legal parental rights to your child.
To learn more about how to pursue a stepparent adoption, click here.
What are the pros and cons of using an LGBT adoption agency?
The pros and cons associated with same-sex adoption agencies are really just those associated with LGBT adoption. The benefits, of course, of adopting are the same as they would be for a heterosexual adoptive couple. Love is love, and you’re adding a whole lot more of it to your life. Some pros of adoption are:
- Raising a child who needs a loving home
- The opportunity to grow your family and to share your lives with a child
- The ability to have an open relationship with your child’s birth parents
Unfortunately, you may also face challenges specific to same-sex adoption, such as:
- Fewer countries that allow gay couples to internationally adopt
- Prejudice from those around you, regardless of what type of adoption you pursue
Sadly, discrimination isn’t exactly a new phenomenon for same-sex couples, but always remember this: Same-sex parenting has no negative effects on children.
What are the costs of using an LGBT adoption agency?
The costs associated with LGBT adoption agencies vary depending on the type of adoption you wish to pursue. For example, a private domestic adoption can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000. Adopting from foster care, however, may cost little to nothing.
It may be important to note that an LGBT adoption agency should never cost more than others simply because it primarily works with same-sex couples. An agency’s costs should be reflected in its services—such as advertising, counseling, and financial protection—and never in the dynamics of the families it works with.
Examples of LGBT-Friendly Adoption Agencies
Choosing a professional to guide you through the adoption process is an important first step. In addition to the questions we listed above, there are a few things you should look for per the Human Rights Campaign. A few agencies you may want to consider that work with LGBT couples are: