Gay adoptive parents may still face discrimination when they try to adopt a child. In Tennessee, a gay pediatrician struggled to adopt a child 17 years ago before finally finding an agency that helped him do so. However, although there are more opportunities for gay and lesbian people than there were at that time, the process can still be a struggle. Furthermore, Texas and South Dakota have both passed laws that allow agencies that are state-funded to refuse gay and lesbian parents.
One option may be to turn to private adoption agencies, but this can cost $20,000 to $40,000. Meanwhile, gay and lesbian parents who wish to adopt out of foster care may run into problems because many of the agencies that work with the state are religious. After being ordered to work with same-sex couples in certain jurisdictions, Catholic Charities closed some of its adoption services agencies.
With in excess of 100,000 foster children waiting for adoption, there is an enormous need for more adoptive parents. Furthermore, same-sex couples adopt at almost three times the rate of heterosexual couples. In 2015, 28,000 same-sex couples were raising 44,000 adoptive children, and this was double the 2013 number according to a researcher.
Same-sex and heterosexual couples as well as single people who are interested in adopting a child might want to speak to an attorney about the process. There are a number of different ways to go about an adoption depending on how much money the family is able to spend and how much contact they wish to have with the biological parent. An attorney may be able to review these options and help ensure that all legal documentation is prepared correctly.