Q. I am a thirty-five year old gay man and my partner and I are considering adopting a child. I know there has been a general trend towards acceptance of late, but we are reluctant to begin the process fearing that the fight-to-adopt might be more then either of us can handle right now. Any advice?
A. Yes. If you and your partner are really committed to adopting a child of your own, the present timing is particularly favorable for both of you legally and in the court of public opinion.
As you probably know, recent polls show a majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage. The move of public opinion towards expanding gay and lesbian rights has also been seen in the right of same-sex couples to legally adopt children. In fact, in a March 2013 polling report, it was estimated that nearly two million children are now being raised by gay and lesbian parents in the United States.
Not only is American public opinion shifting towards acceptance of gay and lesbian rights, so is the medical profession. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now openly supports the legal right for same-sex couples to marry and adopt children having stated that the children’s wellbeing is affected far more by other factors such as their parents’ health and economic security than their particular sexual orientation.
According the AAP, two parents work better than one parent, assuming the parents love each other and their child and also have the economic and social security to support the child through its development. Plus, according to a statement published in the Journal Of Pediatrics, children tend to do just as well when raised by parents of the same or different genders.
So while the timing seems to be ripe to adopt here in the United States, adopting from other nations can still be problematic. This is now the case with Russia.
Russia’s house of parliament passed a law that prohibited Americans from adopting Russian children. The Russian law however was believed to be in retaliation for a U.S. law enacted that imposed sanctions on Russians accused of violating human rights.
Many observers believe that the Russian adoption ban actually operates to victimize children to make a political point. According to UNICEF, there are an estimated 740,000 Russian children who are in need of, but are without parents.
While there is still much to be done and wrongs to be righted, be thankful we live in a country that continues to make progress in the area of civil rights. So yes, it may be a very good time to apply for adoption, have a family and live your dream.