Like other LGBT+ rights movements, the path to adoption for same-sex parents has been a long struggle. The modern push for equal adoptive rights began in 1999, when the ACLU published a document of organized research showing that there is no evidence that same-sex couples are unfit parents and that parenting does not have a direct effect on the development of a child’s sexuality.
Since that point, states took a stand on the issue of same-sex adoption at different times. Mississippi was the last state to have a discriminatory anti-gay adoption law on the books; this was ruled unconstitutional in March of this year, making same-sex couples legally able to adopt in all 50 states.
Importance of Legalized Adoption
There are many reasons that same-sex adoption is such a vital issue:
- It’s another step toward equal rights for LGBT+ Americans
- It gives same-sex couple another opportunity for raising a family
- It protects a gay parent from necessarily losing child custody after a separation with a heterosexual partner
That same-sex couples and single LGBT+ individuals are now able to adopt – and that this has been ruled a constitutional right – is a major step toward equality.
Still Some Limitations
Despite a significant victory in parental rights, LGBT+ couples still face some hurdles that heterosexual couples do not in some areas. Despite the Supreme Court ruling, some states still place limitations on the ability of same-sex couples to become foster parents, forcing them to adopt from private agencies rather than more affordable and accessible state adoptions.
However, with same-sex marriage now being the law of the land and the adoption ruling being passed at the federal level, it’s likely that these loopholes will be forced to vanish soon – allowing LGBT+ families the right to create a family this way if they wish.