Same-sex couples build their families through adoption in a variety of ways – including private adoption, foster care and international adoption. Here’s a look at how some of these avenues have been affected by Obergefell.
When many people talk about adoption, they think about private adoption, where a birth mother chooses an adoptive family and places her (usually) newborn child with that family, with or without the help of an adoption agency.
Is it easier now for same-sex couples to adopt privately in the United States?
The arrival of marriage equality in all 50 states will make it easier for some families to adopt. Some states require that a family finalize an inter-state adoption in the state where the child was born. If that state did not permit same-sex couples to adopt jointly, the family would have to have one spouse finalize in the child’s state of birth, and then the other spouse would complete a second-parent adoption in their home state. Married couples will now be able to finalize jointly in all states.
Will the Supreme Court’s decision make the private adoption process faster for same-sex couples?
No one keeps statistics on the average length of time it takes families to find a match with a birth mother. And it is hard to compare one family’s wait time to another’s, because families are very different in terms of their composition and what kinds of situations they are open to. That said, most adoption agencies and lawyers say that there is no difference in how quickly same-sex couples find a match compared to different-sex couples – and anecdotally some people think that gay dads get picked faster than other types of families. Expectant women are making the choice about what kind of family to place their child with. We have seen the entire country become more accepting of same-sex relationships and LGBT parents, and that acceptance has been driven by younger people. We can expect that women considering adoption plans will only become more open to placing with same-sex couples in the years to come.
Stay tuned for how the Marriage Equality ruling affected foster care and international adoption on Wednesday.
Related Articles: How Obergefell Changed Adoption for Same Sex Couples As We Know It
Brian Esser is a solo practitioner whose practice focuses on building families through adoption, surrogacy, and assisted reproductive technology, and protecting families through proper estate planning.