19th Annual Robyn Rafferty Mathias Conference
In recent years, there has been an increase in same-sex couples applying to adopt children at both infancy and from the foster care system. Although society’s perception of a family normally consists of a mother and father, the times are changing. According to the United States 2000 Census, this societal perception of a normal family, referred to as the “nuclear family”, only represents less than 24%, of households in the U.S. The notion of the “nuclear family” is ever changing in today’s society, and with this change must come a more open view of who can adopt children. It is clear that there are several issues regarding gay and lesbian parents, but these issues do not reflect the capabilities of these couples.
According to the National Health and Social Life Survey, anywhere from one to nine million children are being raised by a gay parent. The 2000 Census found that there are approximately 601,209 same-sex couples living together in the United States. Although there are six states that currently limit or prohibit same-sex couples from adopting, the majority of states do allow these couples to adopt. It was reported in a CNN article regarding gay adoption that 60% of adoption agencies in the U.S. accept applications from same-sex couples.
It is also important to note that these couples are of different races and ethnicities and live in various areas across the United States. This proves to be helpful when finding homes for children. It has also been found that same-sex couples are more open than some heterosexual couples to the types of children they are willing to adopt. Research has shown that many same-sex coup...
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...r a child then there is another child deprived of adults who are willing and able to care for them. In these cases this puts more children at risk of aging out of the system and never having a permanent family to call their own. The more people understand that by allowing same-sex couples to adopt it is decreasing the number of children lingering in the foster care system, the more people will advocate on their behalf.
In doing this research a topic once considered taboo has now been discussed. It is clear that this issue can no longer go unnoticed. It is time to change the way that society views the “nuclear family” and the way that adoption professionals view adoptive candidates. Ultimately, same-sex couples need to be given the same opportunities as heterosexual couples to adopt children because research has shown they are equally as capable.
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