Growing numbers of gay couples across the country are adopting, according to census data, despite an uneven legal landscape that can leave their children without the rights and protections extended to children of heterosexual parents.So the growth in gay parenting isn't just gay couples raising children from former straight relationships, but growth in adoption as well.
Same-sex couples are explicitly prohibited from adopting in only two states — Utah and Mississippi — but they face significant legal hurdles in about half of all other states, particularly because they cannot legally marry in those states.
Despite this legal patchwork, the percentage of same-sex parents with adopted children has risen sharply. About 19 percent of same-sex couples raising children reported having an adopted child in the house in 2009, up from just 8 percent in 2000, according to Gary Gates, a demographer at the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law at the University of California, Los Angeles.
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