Building a Family Through Adoption
People all over the world are seeking to build their families through adoption and LGTBQ+ families are no different. According to the Census, between 2 to 3.7 million children have a parent that identifies as LGTBQ+. This same document notes that that same sex couples are six times more likely to become foster parents and four times more likely to adopt than other couples in the United States.
Josh and his husband were open about their intentions to have a family while dating. “Communicating what we were both looking for was important in demonstrating our mutual values and in our vows at our wedding. The decision to begin adoption came after we both had achieved a certain stability in how a same-sex marriage meshed with our lives and teaching jobs.”
That being said, like any couple adopting, there can be challenges along the way.
Many adoption agencies support all families that are seeking to adopt, while some do not. (Though when I talked to individuals who had been through this process, they either chose social workers, lawyers or agencies that showed their support for LGTBQ+ adoption on their website, or if they reached out to an agency that didn’t, they weren’t abruptly asked to leave, but referred to another organization or individual). A lot of times birth families have an idea of who they would like to raise their children: while some are seeking a mom and a dad to raise their baby, more and more people are seeking an LGTBQ+ family to adopt their baby and even more are less worried about sexual preferences of people and more just striving to find a stable home for their child.
However, Josh noted that as of yet, they’re yet to face obstacles (other than the ones that others adopting may experience. “It’s quite the opposite in some ways,” he says. “We have discovered through our adoption attorneys that same-sex male couples are in high demand. This is ironic, since we had expected there to be some resistance to this where we live given the resistance in the larger faith communities to our marriage.
Finding Financial Support in LGTBQ+ Adoption
Helpusadopt.org is a not for profit organization that offers grants for those who are adopting that have finished the home study. This charity is known not only for helping those who might not have been able to adopt without funding do so, but also their approach to equality when it comes to supporting those who are seeking to be parents.
“When I began to research adoption grant organizations 15 years ago, I was disheartened to see how they defined family,” says Becky Fawcett, Founder and President of helpusadopt.org. “ It was, and still remains in many cases, exclusionary. That’s not how I work so I created Helpusadopt.org an inclusive adoption grant program based on a platform of family equality. From the start in 2007, our doors have been open to all and as an organization we are very proud of that part of our work.”
Finances can be hard for any family seeking to adopt, but since many programs are affiliated in some way, it can be difficult to find a completely inclusive grant organization. Not only have some, like Becky and her team, made it a goal to be inclusive, but they have made great strides to support underserved communities in the world of adoption.
Working Toward Building a Family with Adoption
As we all know, adoption comes with a different journey for every person, couple, birth parent and adoptee as no situation is the same as the next. As for Josh and his husband, they’re doing everything they can and are excited to be parents soon.
“We are still very early in the process, but engaging fully in the adoption education process, which has a very real secondary effect of opening communication lines between the adoptive parents to consider issues and questions that might not otherwise arise. Be open, extremely patient, but also be very diligent about completing the required tasks,” Josh advises.
Though there are different paths to parenthood, there will continue to be various ways that people choose to build their family and get there. No matter who you are or what stage of your journey you’re on, there are places like Adoption Choice, Inc., an LGBTQ+ adoption agency, to help you along the way. For more questions about adoption, reach out to Adoption Choice, Inc.