With so many beautiful children needing loving parents, you have decided to open your heart and home to adopting. What an AMAZING gift to offer! But as a person who’s transgender, you start to wonder, is it even possible?
The simple answer is yes but the adoption path for the LGBTQ community has been thrown many obstacles along the way.
When it comes to LGBTQ adopting children, many states remain silent on the issue. This leaves many families vulnerable to potential bias from individual agencies, child welfare professionals and family court judges.
There are several states that have law or policies in place prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination against qualified potential parents. California is one of them.
Let’s take a deeper look.
WHAT LAWS ARE IN PLACE TO PROTECT LGBTQ ADOPTIONS?
California is literally one of the most liberal states. They lead the pack when it comes to LBGTQ rights. In 2003, California passed a state law prohibiting discrimination against prospective foster parents based on sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibitive. See AB 458, the Foster Care Non-Discrimination Act (2003; effective 2004).
In 2011, California’s Gender Non-Discrimination Act was passed. This clarified that there couldn’t be any discrimination on behalf of religious organizations, business, or adoption agencies regardless of an individual’s gender identity.
Moving forward is always good!
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WAYS FOR LBGTQ TO ADOPT?
There are several ways to adopt; State and Public Agency Adoption, Agency Open Adoption, Open Independent Adoption and International Adoption. How do you know which one is right for you?
When wanting to adopt a child, one of the things you can do is speak with other LBGTQ adoptive parents in your community. Ask them about their experiences and if they have any agency recommendations.
In the past, those who chose an agency open adoption were met with some reluctance. There was a type of hierarchy parental preference and clearly, they were not it.
Others who pursued an independent open adoption were met with rejection from those who didn’t want to deal with them because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
While those who tried international adoption found it extremely difficult to adopt. Many countries that have children up for adoption are very prejudiced when it comes to LGBTQ. There are explicit laws/policies or implicit cultural/societal codes that are completely against LGBTQ adoption.
Many of the LGBTQ welcoming adoption agencies use extreme caution about representing LGBTQ people for international adoption. The process is challenging and they are met with increased barriers.
But the GOOD NEWS now is that more birth parents are choosing same-sex couples over different sex couples. There has been an increase in adoption placement in the community through private agencies. Even though there have been challenges, people in the LBGTQ community have had success adopting children through each of these methods.
Adopting a child is one of life’s most rewarding journeys. Keep in mind that everyone’s understanding of LGBTQ parents varies greatly. Each State has its own adoption law for the LGBTQ community. It is important that you research agencies thoroughly to make sure you are welcomed and that their protocol is compatible with your needs.
Before you start the process, reach out to a family law attorney to know your rights.
Finding the right attorney is crucial to helping you understand the different measures needed when working with LGBTQ cases.
Contact us. We’re here for you!