LGBTQ AdoptionWelcome Future Adoptive Families
We are glad you are considering the Independent Adoption Center as you explore options to expand your family. The IAC has a long and proud tradition of working with lesbian, gay male, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) families in their quest to adopt, and every year our numbers grow stronger.
The IAC, along with experts in childhood development, agree that a loving and supportive family is the most important ingredient when it comes to good parenting. Research has demonstrated that sexual orientation; gender identity or expression does not affect a person’s ability to parent.What sort of birth family will choose an LGBT family?
The answer is all types. The birth family's reasons for picking an adoptive family are as personal and specific to those birthparents and their families as picking any couple. You may remind a birthmother of her brother whom she loves dearly, or remind birthfather of a beloved aunt. Birthparents may or may not have a direct connection with the LGBT community at all. The only thing we can say for sure is that the birthparents are open to placing their baby with LBGT families.How should an LGBT family present themselves in their birthparent literature?
The answer to this question is the same for all of our prospective adoptive families: present yourself authentically. Show the types of relationships you have with your spouse or partner (if partnered), your family, and your community. One of the most important things to a birthparent is finding a family that is loving, caring, genuine and believes in open adoption.Benefits of Choosing the IAC for an LGBT Adoption
- We educate birthparents about LGBT parenting whenever possible.
- We send all LGBT family profiles to birthparents unless they specifically ask us not to.
- We include LGBT parenting terminology in our Google advertising campaign.
- We provide lifetime membership to our LGBT online support group.
Should you not find what you are looking for on these pages, our professional counseling staff is waiting to answer your questions. Please give us a call at 800.877.OPEN.
Same Sex Couples Adoption FAQ
- Can my partner and I both adopt?
Yes, in most cases you may both adopt. Please read the answer to the next question for more detailed information on this topic.
- If the birthmother lives in a state that bans adoption by same sex couples, will we be able to adopt?
There are only two states where no LGBT family may adopt: Mississippi and Utah. Some states will not allow you to adopt as a couple, but will allow the adoption if the home study and interstate paperwork is submitted as a single parent adoption. This is only possible if you are not legally married, except in North Carolina, which refuses to recognize same sex marriages in other states, and therefore treats all married same sex partners as if they are single.
- Are there any states that prohibit lesbians and gay men from adopting?
Yes. At this time both Mississippi and Utah prohibit adoptions by lesbians and gay men, whether or not they are part of couple so there is no legal way for a same-sex couple or single gay man or lesbian to adopt a baby born in those states, nor to adopt from another state if they are residents of Mississippi or Utah. Please note, that the laws regarding gay male and lesbian adoption change frequently. The best source for current information is the Human Rights Campaign web site at: hrc.org/laws-and-legislation/state/c/adoption
- Does it take gay male and lesbian couples longer than heterosexual couples to adopt?
No. Our gay male and lesbian couples average the same wait time as heterosexual couples do to adopt. Often there is a preconceived notion that there is a longer wait time for gay male and lesbian couples but this has never proven to be true.
- How long does it take to adopt?
On average, our clients wait 15 months for a placement. For detailed information about wait times please see Adoption Statistics at the IAC.
Transgender Partner(s) Adoption FAQ
- Does the IAC work with families with one or two transgender partners?
Yes. IAC does not discriminate based on gender identity or expression, or for any other reason.
- Do birthparents choose families with one or two transgender partners?
Yes. IAC has placed children with families that have one or two transgender adoptive parents.
- Do families with one or two transgender partners have a longer wait for a placement than a heterosexual, gay male, or lesbian couples?
No. Our families with one or two transgender partners average the same wait time as heterosexual, gay male and lesbian couples do to adopt. This average wait to placement is 15 months. It is important to note, however, that so far there have been only a handful of placements with families with one or two transgender partners so the sample may be too small from which to generalize.
- How will IAC identify the sexual orientation of a family with one or two transgender partners on the web site?
IAC believes that every family has a right to determine the sexual orientation that they think is appropriate for their family. Families with transgender partner(s) have identified as both heterosexual and gay/lesbian. Families who identify as heterosexual, may also ask to be removed from packets to birthparents who indicated they did not want to see any LGBT families.
- What does IAC tell birthparents about transgender adoptive parents?
IAC will only provide the publicly available information from your letter and online profile to birth families. As part of the open adoption process IAC expects you to talk with the birthparents you match with about your gender identity and/or gender expression. An IAC counselor often facilitates the discussion, but it is up to you if you want the counselor present during the discussion. We have never had a birth parent back out of a match because of concern about gender identity or expression.
- Do any states prohibit transgender people from adopting?
No state explicitly prohibits transgender people from adopting. Transgender people who also identity as gay men or lesbians will face obstacles to adoption in some states as noted in the frequently asked questions for same sex couples above.
Single LGBT Adoption FAQ
- Does the IAC work with single lesbians, gay men, and transgender individuals?
Yes. The IAC does not discriminate based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or marital/partner status, or for any other reason.
- Do birthparents choose single lesbians, gay men, and transgender individuals?
IAC has placed children with single lesbians, but there have only been about five placements with single lesbians as very few have applied to be an adoptive parent. In recent years we have begun to see gay men and transgender individuals applying as adoptive parents, and we have only made a small handful of placements with a single gay man or non-partnered transgender person. In summary, birthparents do choose single LGBT parents, but we don't have enough data yet to make any statistical comparisons.
- Do single lesbians, gay men, and transgender individuals have a longer wait to placement than heterosexual or gay male or lesbian couples?
Single lesbians have the same average wait time as lesbian, gay male, and heterosexual couples, which is 14 months. Again, the sample is extremely small, as we have only done five such placements so it is hard to generalize. We believe the wait time for single gay men and transgender individuals will likely follow the same pattern with the average wait for placement approximating 14 months.
- Do any states prohibit single lesbians, gay men, and transgender individuals from adopting?
At this time, both Mississippi and Utah prohibit adoptions by lesbians and gay men. There is no legal way for a gay man or lesbian to adopt a baby born in those states, nor to adopt from another state if they are residents of Mississippi or Utah. Please note, that the laws regarding gay male and lesbian adoption change frequently. The best source for current information is the Human Rights Campaign web site at: http://www.hrc.org/laws-and-legislation/state/c/adoption.
No state explicitly prohibits transgender people from adopting. Transgender people who also identify as gay men or lesbians will face obstacles to adoption in some states as noted above.