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Same-sex couple adoption: Your rights in Tennessee

Today, the United States recognizes the value of a same-sex couple's relationship. Same-sex couples can get married, have families and live relatively normal lives compared to heterosexual couples. Despite that, many homosexual couples worry that they won't be able to adopt.

The reality is that a same-sex couple can be great parents, just as a heterosexual couple can be great parents. There are approximately 594,000 same-sex households throughout the United States, and of them, around 115,000 contain children. While there is a claim made by some people that children need mothers and fathers, the reality is that gender doesn't truly matter when raising a child.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has a growing interest in adoption

The LGBT community has a growing interest in adoption borne out by the statistics that around 2 million of these individuals are interested in having children of their own adopted through various means. Homosexual parents are already raising around 4 percent of all adopted children across America.

Can same-sex couples legally adopt in the United States?

Yes. Same-sex couples have the same rights as opposite-sex couples when it comes to adoption. Couples can petition for joint adoption in all states, although there may be other requirements, such as being in a civil union, marriage or domestic partnership at the time of the application.

Several states explicitly allow for same-sex adoption (with a second-parent adoption). These include New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Illinois, Maine and others.

What are Tennessee's same-sex couple adoption laws?

In Tennessee, same-sex couples may legally seek to adopt. Single people in the LGBT community may also seek to adopt. Even better, the state allows same-sex partners to petition to adopt their parent's child or a child of their relationship.

Although same-sex adoption was not normal in the past, it has become commonplace throughout the United States today. If you are in a same-sex relationship and want to adopt a child, there are no legal barriers that should prevent you from doing so under most normal circumstances.

Every adoption is unique, but your gender or sexual preferences should not come into it. You have the right to petition to adopt and should be considered as fairly as any other individual or couple who chooses to petition to adopt. A child is waiting for a home, and your home may be the perfect place for them to live and grow.

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