State By State

For state by state information on same-sex couples raising children and adoption policies, click a link below. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

National Facts:

  • 415,000 kids in U.S. foster care system
    108,000 eligible for adoption
    22,000 "aged out" before finding a family in 2014.

  • 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.
  • Many states still have barriers restricting the ability of LGBT people and same-sex couples to adopt children