Joint adoption laws permit same-sex couples to adopt a child together. By doing this, both prospective parents become a child’s legal parents. According to the Family Equality Council, adoption non-discrimination laws protect LGBT parents from discrimination by adoption agencies. Currently, 35 states and D.C. allow LGBT parents to petition for joint adoption including Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California.
Lesbian and gay singles and couples can adopt children through agencies or do independent adoptions. It can also be possible to do an international adoptions, but these will be increasingly difficult since the United States adopted the Hague Convention.
Some states explicitly restrict adoption care by same-sex parents. Other states ban adoption by unmarried couples, effectively banning joint adoption by same-sex couples if marriage for same-sex couples is not available in that state. For many same-sex couples, joint or second parent adoption isn’t an option. Some states, like Mississippi and Utah, bar same-sex partners from adopting. For a state-by-state overview of second parent adoption laws, visit the Lambda Legal Defense Fund’s website: www.lambdalegal.org.
It is important that you know your local law before you decide to adopt, it’s important that you get legal advice when you are considering parenting. Make sure you consult with an attorney in King County about adoption if you are interested, as the process can take some time and can be complicated. Miller Law Group is glad to help you with your goal of adoption.
We also encourage you to search out gay and lesbian parenting groups. These organizations can provide you information: The Human Rights Campaign (www.hrc.org) and The National Center for Lesbian Rights (www.nclrights.org).