The Experts Speak on Adoption

Here’s what some well-respected experts are saying about adoption and marital status:

Child Welfare League of America:

“Applicants should be assessed on the basis of their abilities to successfully parent a child needing family membership and not on their race, ethnicity or culture, income, age, marital status, religion, appearance, differing lifestyles, or sexual orientation. Further, applicants for adoption should be accepted “on the basis of an individual assessment of their capacity to understand and meet the needs of a particular available child at the point of adoption and in the future.” Read more on this policy.

National Adoption Center:

“We believe that every child has the right to a loving, nurturing and permanent family, and that people from a variety of life experiences offer strengths for these children. Therefore, it is the policy of the National Adoption Center that no person should be denied consideration in the adoption process solely based on marital status, sexual orientation, lifestyle, disability, physical appearance, race, gender, age, religion and/or size of family.” Read more on this policy.

Voice for Adoption

“Voice for Adoption believes that children deserve every opportunity to have a permanent, loving family, and that ruling out prospective parents through discrimination limits children’s options for permanency. We oppose policies and practices that discriminate against prospective parents, including but not limited to discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, family size, disability, medical condition, geographic location, employment status, occupation (including employment in the child welfare system), and educational attainment. We support making decisions about approving prospective parents and matching waiting children on a case-by-case basis, based on the strengths of the family and the best interests of each child.”

American Medical Association:

“Our AMA will support legislative and other efforts to allow the adoption of a child by the same-sex partner, or opposite sex non-married partner, who functions as a second parent or co-parent to that child.”

American Bar Association:

“RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association supports state and territorial laws and court decisions that permit the establishment of legal parent-child relationships through joint adoptions and second-parent adoptions by unmarried persons who are functioning as a child’s parents when such adoptions are in the best interests of the child.”

“RESOLVED, that the American Bar Association supports the enactment of laws and implementation of public policy that provide that sexual orientation shall not be a bar to adoption when the adoption is determined to be in the best interest of the child.”

“BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Bar Association supports the enactment of legislation and implementation of public policy providing that child custody and visitation shall not be denied or restricted on the basis of sexual orientation.”

North American Council on Adoptable Children:

“Children should not be denied a permanent family because of the sexual orientation of potential parents. All prospective foster and adoptive parents, regardless of sexual orientation, should be given fair and equal consideration. NACAC opposes rules and legislation that restrict the consideration of current or prospective foster and adoptive parents based on their sexual orientation.” Read more on this policy.

American Academy of Pediatrics:

“The Academy supports the legal adoption of children by [same-sex] coparents or second parents. Denying legal parent status through adoption to coparents or second parents prevents these children from enjoying the psychologic and legal security that comes from having 2 willing, capable, and loving parents.” Read more on this policy.

American Psychiatric Association:

“1. Sexual orientation should not be used as the sole or primary factor in child custody decisions.
2. Gay and lesbian couples and individuals should be allowed to become parents through adoption, fostering and new reproductive technologies, subject to the same type of screening used with heterosexual couples and individuals.
3. Second-parent adoptions which grant full parental rights to a second, unrelated adult (usually an unmarried partner of a legal parent), are often in the best interest of the child(ren) and should not be prohibited solely because both adults are of the same gender.”

American Psychological Association:

“BE IT RESOLVED That the APA opposes any discrimination based on sexual orientation in matters of adoption, child custody and visitation, foster care and reproductive health services….The APA supports the protection of parent-child relationships through the legalization of joint adoptions and second parent adoptions of children being reared by same-sex couples.” Read more on this policy.

National Association of Social Workers:

“Legislation legitimizing second-parent adoptions in same-sex households should be supported. Legislation seeking to restrict foster care and adoption by gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people should be vigorously opposed.” Read more in Social Work Speaks: National Association of Social Workers Policy Statements, 2003-2006.