State By State
For state by state information on same-sex couples raising children and adoption policies, click a link below.
Second-parent adoption is the adoption of a child by a second parent in the home who is not married to the legal parent of the child. A second-parent adoption allows a second parent to adopt a child without the "first parent" losing any parental rights.
Joint adoption is when two people petition to adopt a child together at the same time. All states explicitly allow single people to petition to adopt and married couples to petition to adopt jointly, but only very few states permit unmarried partners to petition to adopt jointly.
Stepparent adoption, or the legal adoption of a child by the spouse of the child's birth or previous adoptive parent, is the most common form of adoption in the U.S.
Same-Sex Couples Raising Children
- 402,000 kids in U.S. foster care system
102,000 eligible for adoption
23,000 "aged out" before finding a family in 2012.
- Same-sex couples raising children are four times more likely than their different-sex counterparts to be raising an adopted child.
- Same-sex couples are six times more likely than their different sex counterparts to be raising foster children.
- The majority of states currently have barriers restricting the ability of LGBT people and same-sex couples to adopt children
- According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 30% of foster youth across the nation are African-American, yet they represent only 25% of the children who are adopted.