A strong majority, 63 percent, of Americans now say that same-sex couples should have a legal right to adopt a child, according to a new Gallup poll. About one in three, 35 percent, are opposed.
The result is the opposite of 1992, when Gallup first polled the question. Sixty-three percent said homosexual couples should not be legally permitted to adopt in that year. In 1998, that number declined to 57 percent. In 2003 and 2007, Americans were about equally divided on the question.
The recent poll was the first time Gallup showed a clear majority supportive of giving same-sex couples the legal right to adopt a child.
The strongest support came from Democrats (80 percent), followed by independents (61 percent), then Republicans (51 percent).
Young people were more supportive than older people. Among ages 18 to 29, 77 percent answered that same-sex couples should have the right to adopt, followed by 65 percent for ages 30 to 49, 59 percent for ages 50 to 64 and 52 percent for those 65 and older.
Support for same-sex adoption has followed the same trend line as, while also remaining higher than, support for same-sex marriage. A recent Gallup poll, for instance, showed support for same-sex marriage at 55 percent, eight percentage points lower than support for same-sex adoption.
In the United States, over 16,000 same-sex couples have adopted an estimated 22,000 children, Art Swift wrote for Gallup, citing research by the Williams Institute of UCLA.
The May 8-22 poll of 1,028 adults has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
In previous polls, Gallup used "homosexual couples" in its question wording. That was changed to "same-sex couples" for the recent poll. From 1992 to 1998 and in 2007, the question wording asked if the couples should or should not be "legally permitted to adopt." All other years asked if they should or should not "have the legal right to adopt a child."