Adoption of Children by Same-Sex Couples Essay

Adoption of Children by Same-Sex Couples Essay

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Traditionally, a family has been considered to consist of a heterosexual couple and their children, but many forms of family life exist in contemporary society. Homosexual people also form family units, either as single parents or as couples, with children, who are included in the family through a variety of circumstances. Many have children who were born in previous families (Johnson & Piore, 2004) and many have children who were born in a previous heterosexual marriages. A gay man or lesbian women or couple can enlist the help of a surrogate to have a baby while other homosexuals adopted or foster children (Sherman, 2002; Virtel, 2007).
Surveys indicate that between 45% and 80% of lesbians and between 40% and 60% of gay men are currently in a steady relationship, and many have long-term cohabiting relationships (National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 2003). Census data show that 33% of lesbian and female bisexual couples and 22% of gay and male bisexual couples are raising children. Most laws about adoption by homosexual parents are ambiguous, and in many cases homosexual people must adopt as individuals rather than as couples (Galst & Hilty, 2003; S. Ryan et al., 2004). In 1998 New Jersey became the first state to allow partners in gay and lesbian couples to jointly adopt children, and California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont have since established laws to permit such adoptions. Nine states – Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, Utah, and Wisconsin – have various laws banning adoption by homosexual individuals and/or couples (National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 2011).
Some people have questioned the ability of homo...

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...p backs gay parents. Contemporary Sexuality, 36, 10.

Galst, L., & Hilty, J. (2003). Lesbians with strollers: The gaybie boom on wheels. Ms., Spring, 17-18.

Johnson, D., & Piore, A. (2004). Home in two worlds. Newsweek, October 18, 53-54.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (2003, April 23). National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Slams Santorum’s Bigoted Language. Retrieved March 15, 2011, from

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (2011). Adoption laws in the U.S. Retrieved from

Ryan S., Perlmutter, S., & Groza, V. (2004). Coming out of the closet: Opening agencies to gay and lesbian adoptive parents. Social Work, 49, 85-95.

Sherman, S. (2002). If our son is happy, what else matters? Newsweek, September 16, 12.

Virtel, L. (2007). Making babies. Advocate, August 28, 36-38.

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