Wait Times for Adoptive Placements in LGBT Families

People often assume that LGBT families wait longer for an adoption placement than Heterosexual families. This is not true. At IAC, LGBT families have the same or shorter wait times.

It is important, however, for LGBT families to work with agencies that do not discriminate or use unintentionally biased practices. For example, some agencies ask birthparents if they are open to LGBT or “non-traditional” families. There is no reason to ask this question. It implies that LGBT families are “different” and perhaps less desirable.

Overall, families at IAC, on average, wait for 12 months for a placement. This is also the average for Heterosexual couples. Lesbian couples, on average, wait 10 months, and Gay male couples average an 11-month wait. These numbers often baffle people who assume that it means LGBT families have an advantage over heterosexual couples. Some families may have a shorter wait, but it is not because of their sexual orientation.

Sexual orientation has nothing to do with the discrepancy in the wait time. Instead, how open couples are on their profile in regards to the race of the child, the mental health of the birthparents, and drug and alcohol use of the birthmother is the factor with the greatest influence on wait time. On average, Lesbian couples are the most open in regards to the race of the child and the mental health of the birthparents. When I compared Heterosexual couples that had the same level of openness as the average Lesbian couple they had the same wait time of 10 months. Furthermore, LGBT families who have the same level of openness as the average Heterosexual couple had the same wait time of 12 months.

LGBT families do not have a longer wait time for an adoptive placement. Birthparents choose the adoptive parents for their children based on many factors, but clearly, sexual orientation is not one of them.

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  • Barile-Swain Family

    We waited 1 month from going live on IAC’s website to our phone call, a total of just about 7 months from our initial IAC meeting. It’s been a year since our daughter came into our lives and we’re visiting with our birthmom today. So blessed to be a part of the IAC family.

  • Thank you for sharing your story! It really offers hope to others who are still waiting. It’s amazing the timing of it all and that it’s often stated to be “meant to be”, although while waiting, that can often be hard to believe. I hope the meeting with your daughter’s birthmother went well! We are so happy to have you as a part of our family as well, thank you!

  • Susan

    We are an older couple(>45) that matched thru the IAC 7 months after “going live” When birth parents choose the adopting couple there is no way to predict who will be chosen when. I think openness and honesty with ourselves and each other are the most important way to find a match that has chemistry. We have a wonderful open relationship with our birth family and love them all so very much. Our daughter, even at 20 months, knows her birth mom( Mama Beth is the name she has given her) Thank you IAC for pioneering open adoption and promoting love for all children and all families.

  • iacErin

    Susan, Thank you for your post. It’s great to hear how open adoption shapes a family and the beautiful relationships it nurtures.

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