The time it takes to adopt a child depends on many variables. In some states, it may take longer for an LGBTQ couple to find an adoption agency. But when it comes to matching birth mothers with adoptive families, more and more mothers are seeking to place their children with same-sex couples. In some cases, this can actually make the process go faster.
Yes. Adoption agencies (public and private) are licensed by the state and subject to state laws, meaning there are as many sets of laws as there are states. For more information about state adoption laws, click here.
Yes! Medical conditions do not prohibit prospective parents from fostering-to-adopt. You may need to show that you are receiving care and treatment, and of course transparency is in everyone’s best interest. Many HIV+ individuals have successfully adopted children, but it is important to understand that anti-discrimination laws do not apply to birth mothers. When finding a home for her child, a birth mother is permitted to consider all factors including race, gender and medical status.
Undergoing a home study can be one of the most stressful parts of the adoption process. It can feel overwhelming and invasive. There may be added anxiety for LGBTQ families, especially if they have concerns about an agency’s policies or procedures. Taking the time at the front end of the process to, choose a welcoming agency increases the chances that the social worker conducting the study will be prepared to communicate openly.
There are many organizations offering support groups for families waiting to adopt. You can find many great resources here. You can also ask your social worker to refer you to local groups. Be sure to ask if there are other LGBTQ families in the group.
Legal protections covering sexual- and gender-orientation do not apply to birth mothers placing children in an adoptive home. The birth mother may choose any number of factors in her decision, including race, gender and sexual orientation. Fortunately though, more and more birth mothers are open to LGBTQ parents, and in some cases prefer it.
Fortunately, most adoption agencies do not expect the entire cost of an adoption to paid “up front”, but rather the costs are budgeted over time. But there are also financing options available, ranging from home equity loans and 401k loan disbursements to personal or third party loans. In some cases, there may even be a grant available. The agency you choose will likely be able to provide you with information on how to fund an adoption.
All states and Washington D.C. require background investigations for prospective adoptive and foster parents. Many states require background checks on any adult residing in the household. Not all convictions are grounds for disqualification, but some are. For the state statues in your state, visit: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/background.pdf