Major Study On Adoption And Foster Care By Lesbian And Gay Parents

by Justin Rudd

On April 3rd 2007, the Williams Institute and the Urban Institute released a major study on adoption and foster care by lesbian and gay parents. The study uses census data and other government surveys to estimate for the first time the number of adopted and fostered children living with lesbian and gay parents in the United States and to provide a demographic portrait of these families.

Authored by Gary J. Gates, PhD, a Senior Research Fellow at The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, UCLA School of Law. The research team also estimates the economic and social costs of banning such adoptions and foster care, a prospect under debate in legislatures and courts in several states.

Two Dads and Daughter

Findings from the study include:

  • More than 1 in 3 lesbians have given birth and 1 in 6 gay men have fathered or adopted a child.
  • More than 50% of gay men and 41% of lesbians want to have a child.
  • An estimated 2 million GLB people are interested in adopting.
  • An estimated 65,500 adopted children are living with a lesbian or gay parent.
  • Gay and lesbian parents are raising 4% of all adopted children in the United States.
  • An estimated 14,100 foster children are living with lesbian or gay parents.
  • Gay and lesbian parents are raising 3% of foster children in the United States.
  • A national ban on GLB foster care could cost from $87 to $130 million.
  • Costs to individual states could range from $100,000 to $27 million.

More great information of GLB parenting and other social issues can be found at their website: Williams Institute.

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