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Policies Addressing Same-Sex Adoption

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Policies Addressing Same-sex Adoption

Brittney Kingsberry

Child welfare

Dr. Plummer

Alabama A&M University


The issue of adoption by same-sex couples has moved to the forefront in recent years. In this paper I will examine the policies according to the state stature and comparing them, as well looking at research that was conducted by psychologist. Some child welfare agencies discriminate against same-sex couples just because of their life style. I want to have a clear and a precise understanding of why these couples are stigmatize when it come to adopting children and understand the barriers that have been put in place to discourage them. There are is a widespread of belief why same-sex adoption should be disqualified.  My research about this topic will help me to inform others as well to put myself in their shoes.


When it comes to sexual orientation should it be a prospect for adoptive parents. States that have forbid same-sex joint adoption is: Florida, Arkansas, Utah, and Michigan, only seven allow joint adoption which includes: California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York. The remaining of the states allow single GLBT adoption and second Parent (Is a legal procedure that allows same-sex couples gay and lesbian parents) to adopt their partner's biological or adopted children without terminating the first parent's right as a parent. Second parent adoptions give the child two legal guardians. It protects both parents by giving both of them legally recognized parental status),   but the policy is unclear of prohibit same-sex adoption (Child Social welfare agencies tend not to have formal policies on homosexual adoptive parents. The agency has an opinion when it comes to favor or disfavor an applicant (Brook &Goldberg 2001).


In the United States same-sex adoption would be secretive because it was not a society norm at the time for same sex adoption. According to Every child deserve a family act: prohibit discrimination in adoption or foster care placements based on the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of any prospective adoptive or foster parent, or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved (Murphy 2005).  Now same-sex adoption is not a taboo as it was at one point but it’s in the progressive stage, there is still that belief that same sex orientation and life style has effects on the children (Downs et al. 2009). In one recent study, psychologist Rachel Farr, from the University of Virginia, and her colleagues examined child development and parenting in over 100 families with adopted children, including 29 gay couples, 27 lesbian couples, and 59 heterosexual couples. The study found that children from all three groups were functioning well and had relatively few behavior problems, as reported by their parents and teachers. Family type was not a significant predictor of school outcomes (Adoptive Families, 2014). The sad fact is; the barriers remain even though research and laws were passed showing that sexual orientation does not impact one’s ability to be a good parent. Research findings provide favorable evidence to encourage the continued increase in adoptions by same-sex couples.

Root of problem

The problem for same-sex adoption comes from the religious aspect and society predators. In the Holy Bible Leviticus 18:13-20 and Romans 1:26-28 talks about homosexuality and how It undermines the basis of God's created order where God made Adam, a man, and Eve, a woman not two men, not two women to carry out his command to fill and subdue the earth (Holy Bible Genesis. 1:28). Homosexuality cannot carry out that command. It also undermines the basic family unit of husband and wife in the biblical era.  Society today is somewhat govern by the biblical law but not fully some are bias’s depending on the state.  The definition of family has changed from the nuclear or traditional heterosexual marriage pregnancy and child birth to a group of persons who form a household under one head, including parents and children (the law dictionary).

         Society’s predator like Frank Lombard an open homosexual, who was arrested by the FBI in June 2009 on child sex abuse charges (Americans for Truth., 2009); gives child welfare service workers the belief that gay/lesbian adoptive parents should be disqualified for receiving sanction as a parent.  Situation such as this one happen in heterosexual adoption as well as biological parents. Society norms is the root if we change the way we perceive each other we can make the difference in  each child life and a statement about equality.

Issue an its affects in child welfare policy

Each state has their individual set of laws regarding same-sex adoption such as secondary parent adoption and some state policies are unclear when addressing same-sex adoption or even prohibit  this course of action. For those state that allow same-sex adoption agencies tend to place those children that’s hard to place with the same-sex couple (Downs et al. 2009).  Agencies prefer not to have formal polices about same-sex adoption which can discourage stigmatize and discriminate base on personal bias.

Existent policies

        The key sources of adoption law are state statutes and state court decisions. Each state has its own “adoption statute,” enacted by the state legislature, which provides the general procedures and policies for adoptions in that state. In each state, this adoption statute is the starting point for assessing whether gay or lesbian adoption is permitted (Blanks et al, 2004).

Alabama’s adoption statute does not expressly permit or bar gay and lesbian adoption, and the state’s courts have yet to interpret the statute as to whether such adoption is permissible. However, the Alabama Supreme Court has expressed hostility toward custody by gays and lesbians. Second-parent adoption does not appear to be available under Alabama’s statutes, although no published cases address the issue. Individual Adoption: Alabama’s adoption statute allows adoption by “any adult person.” Alabama Code 26-10A-5(a) (2004). While no reported cases deal directly with the issue of gay and lesbian adoption, at least one case dealing with child custody by a lesbian parent was hostile to gay and lesbian parents (Blanks et al, 2004), This impact child welfare by limiting children who are hard to place to have a permanent home and increasing multiple placements for these children.



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