Gay Adoptions in US Triple Over Decade, Study Shows

The number of children given in adoption to gays and lesbians nearly tripled over 10 years, an analysis by the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute shows.

The Williams Institute, which analyzed newly released Census Bureau estimates, found that only 6,477 same-sex couples had adopted children in 2000, but in 2009 the number swelled to 21,740, according to The Associated Press.

The analysis also showed that only 8,310 adopted children were living with same-sex couples in 2000, but the number grew to about 32,571 in 2009. The study suggests that almost half of adoptive gay families had adopted children from foster care as that provides for healthcare and higher education.

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The incidence of adoption by gays is particularly high in four states – Massachusetts, California, New York and Texas – found a recent report by Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, which surveyed 158 gay and lesbian parents over four years.

Over 60 percent of American adoption agencies surveyed by the Adoption Institute accepted applications from non-heterosexual parents. It also found that about 40 percent of agencies had knowingly placed children with gay families.

The study claimed that about a third of the adoptions by lesbians and gay men were “open,” and the birth families’ initial reactions regarding sexual orientation were very positive.

However, while more gay couples are now adopting, the overall number of same-sex couples raising kids is declining, according to Gary Gates at the Williams Institute. “The bulk of parenting among gay people is still people who had children at a young age with a different sex partner before they were out.”

While many states restrict gay parent adoptions, some states have made such adoptions easier either by introducing legislation or following court orders.

For example, Arkansas’ Supreme Court in April struck down a voter-approved initiative that barred same-sex couples and unmarried heterosexual couples from adopting or serving as foster parents. The court order was criticized by conservative groups.

Jerry Cox, president of the Family Council Action Committee in Arkansas, called it “a classic example of judicial tyranny” and “anti-child.” The court, he said, had “chosen to run roughshod over the people’s will and refused to uphold a good law that protected the children in the state’s care… The ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the case before the court] couldn’t defeat this good law in a fair election, so they used the court system against the people of Arkansas.”

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