Thursday, October 20, 2011

Adoption by Gay Men & Lesbians: New Report from Donaldson Institute

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute announced today the publication of a new report, EXPANDING RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN III:  RESEARCH-BASED BEST PRACTICES IN ADOPTION BY GAYS AND LESBIANS:
Despite laws in some states that impede the practice, a growing number of lesbians and gay men are adopting children in the United States – at least half of them providing families for boys and girls from foster care and 60% adopting transracially, according to the results of an extensive new survey by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.

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"We know the majority of adoption agencies readily work with gay and lesbian clients, and our research shows that most want guidance about how best to do that," said Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Adoption Institute. "Our hope and belief is that by providing greater knowledge to professionals, policy-makers and the public, the result will be more families for the children who need them."

In addition to the statistics cited above, major (and interesting) findings in the Institute's report include:
  • About one-third of the adoptions by lesbians and gay men were "open," and the birth families' initial reactions regarding sexual orientation were very positive (73%). Interestingly, male couples more often reported having been chosen because of their sexual orientation than did lesbians, explaining that the birthmothers expressed a desire to remain the child's "only mother."
  • Over 10% of the children adopted were 6 or older – a population generally perceived as more difficult to place – and 25% were at least 3 years old. Interestingly, the household incomes of respondents were high – and more so for the male parents, $212,380 vs. $115,467, indicating (among other things) that more lesbians adopted as individuals and more gay men as couples.
You can read the full report here.

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