State By State

Overview

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Second-parent adoption

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. 

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Joint Adoption

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. 

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Step-parent adoption

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. 

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Same-Sex Couples Raising Children

Same-sex Couples Raising Children: This map shows the percent of same-sex couples raising children based on data from the 2010 Census, conducted by the Census Bureau, and analyzed by the The Williams Institute.

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National Facts:

  • 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
    • Only 27 states and D.C. permit same-sex couples to jointly adopt
    • Only 14 states and D.C. permit second-parent adoptions
    • Only 6 states explicitly ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in foster care.
  • 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.