If you are a member of the LGBTQ community, you may worry about challenges you could face on your path to adopting a child.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway answers questions you may have about navigating the adoption process as an LGBTQ parent.
Preparing for the home study
Families wishing to adopt must undergo a home study. A child welfare agency or social worker will evaluate you and, if applicable, your partner and other family members. The evaluator will assess your fitness as a parent and help you get ready to welcome a child into your home. A study will also consider the suitability of your home, taking into account the child’s age and needs.
Parents in the LGBTQ community may feel stress during a home study. Prepare for the visit, and advocate for yourself by engaging in open communication with the evaluator.
You may believe that a social worker exhibits bias based on your sexual orientation or transgender status. If you find yourself in this situation, address your worries with the evaluator. If you do not get a satisfactory response, talk to that person’s supervisor. If you remain concerned, you may wish to explore whether to file a discrimination complaint with appropriate authorities.
Identifying yourself as an LGBTQ parent
You may wonder whether to disclose your sexual orientation or transgender status to the agency evaluating your adoption application. Many members of the LGBTQ community fear that such a disclosure could disqualify them. If you work with an agency experienced in placing children in LGBTQ homes, sharing this information helps paint a complete and truthful picture of you as an individual and as a prospective parent.
You may find it useful to join a support group so that you can share your concerns with other LGBTQ individuals and couples going through the adoption process.