November is National Adoption Month, so here’s a revised version of my list of resources for LGBTQ people considering adoption.
Before getting into the resources, though, let’s be happy that once again, President Obama was LGBTQ inclusive in his National Adoption Month proclamation, saying, “Regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, or religion, devoted Americans who adopt help give more children the upbringing they deserve.”
And a new study on gay and lesbian adoptive parents has confirmed what previous studies have shown and so many of us know in our hearts: “Adjustment among children, parents, and couples, as well as family functioning, were not different on the basis of parental sexual orientation (lesbian, gay, or heterosexual) when children were school-age.”
On to the resources. As with all parenting decisions, the very first place to start is in your heart. Do you want to be parents? Is adoption the path, or one of the paths, you are open to? After that, some online resources may be of help.
- “Adoption Options Overview” from HRC is a good summary of the types of adoption and some of the challenges of each one.
- HRC’s “8 Questions to Ask Before Starting the Adoption Process” is also useful.
- Family Equality Council’s Allies for Adoption campaign offers an overview of adoption law in every state, stories of LGBTQ families who have adopted, information on the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, and more.
- Foster and Adoption Laws Map (U.S.) is a useful overview from the Movement Advancement Project.
- AdoptUSKids provides support to LGBT families seeking to foster or adopt children from foster care. To talk with an adoption specialist, call toll-free, 888-200-4005, or e-mail LGBTSupport@adoptuskids.org.
- “LGBTQ Families” from the Child Welfare Information Gateway, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (developed in partnership with the HRC Family Project).
- Find a list of LGBTQ-friendly adoption agencies: ones that have achieved all of HRC’s All Children – All Families Benchmarks of LGBTQ Cultural Competency.
Not LGBTQ Specific
- The Child Welfare Information Gateway also has lots of other information on adoption, such as this page of resources on transracial/transcultural adoption, in addition to the LGBT-specific link above. They also have a site dedicated to National Adoption Month, with a subset of key resources.
- The National Adoption Center expands adoption opportunities for children living in foster care throughout the United States and is a resource to families and agencies that seek the permanency of caring homes for children.
- RaiseAChild.US helps promote family building through fostering and adoption and supports people interested in becoming foster/adoptive parents. Each of the agencies in its Nationwide Referral Network has completed training and certification in LGBT cultural competence.
- National Center on Adoption and Permanency is a one-stop portal for links to adoption-related resources.
- The Donaldson Adoption Institute offers research, education, and advocacy to improve adoption laws, policies and practices.
Those are only a few of the many resources available. I’ve focused here on starter resources for prospective adoptive parents, and haven’t included organizations other than Donaldson that mostly work in adoption advocacy, policy, or the like. I also haven’t included the many links for birth parents, adopted individuals, and social service professionals, though I welcome your suggestions for them in the comments.