Agencies Broaden Access to Adoption for Gay and Lesbian Families

by Maxine L. Seiler, LCSW

Many gay and lesbian couples experience the heartbreak of discrimination while trying to create their family. After many months or years of disappointment in their inability to conceive a child through donor insemination and infertility treatments, they decide to create their family through adoption only to find many agencies will not work with them. These couples reach out to a child-placing agency, just to be told that they don’t qualify for adoption.

They are given a variety of reasons ranging from age, ethnicity, religion, existing health issues and finally their sexual orientation. For many couples, this is the end of their dream of having a family. Some agencies will allow these couples to be shown only to birth parents of minority children or only for children that are hard to place. This is fine for many couples, but for some couples, they feel their only recourse is to come to terms with the reality that they will never be parents.

Dad and Daughter

Now, because of factors such as broadening of rights for gay and lesbian families as well as the internet which increases communications among people of other states and regions, people are learning that adoption IS an option for the gay and lesbian community.

You can find an agency that will accept you and your partner as well as other people who have traditionally been denied access to adoption. Many agencies do not have religious affiliations or a religious criteria and will work with you even after the age of 45 years old. If you are newly married or single, some agencies are happy to work with you depending upon your circumstances. Some people have health issues that are easily controlled by medication and many agencies will take that into consideration in their application process.

Just like in your search to find the right doctor or attorney, you need to continue your search for the right fit with an adoption agency. After all, your family will be unique and individual. Choose an agency that understands that and will treat you as the individual that you are, not an interchangeable number.

Maxine is the Executive Director of Family to Family Adoptions, Inc., located in Texas. They can be reached at (281) 342-4042 or please visit their website by clicking here.

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