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Gay Adoption State Laws

There is no federal legislation regarding gay or same-sex adoption. Like many aspects of adoption law, the legal status of gay adoption or same-sex adoption varies from state to state and sometimes even jurisdictions. There are currently only 16 states plus the District of Columbia that allow gay individuals or couples to petition to adopt.  Each state has its own gay adoption laws regarding individual (unmarried) gay adoption, joint gay adoption, and second parent gay adoption. To get you started, click on your state below to read the laws affecting gay and lesbian adoption.

Gay Adoption Friendly
Gay Adoption Unfriendly


Gay Adoption Frequently Asked Questions

Is it harder for gays and lesbians to adopt than opposite sex couples?

In many ways it can be, but not impossible.

Does growing up in a “gay” household affect the child’s development in a negative way?

There is no evidence that supports that gay and lesbians are unfit to be parents. Gays and lesbians are just as likely to support a child’s development, as are heterosexual parents.

Will children be bullied about having same-sex parents?

There aren’t many things that kids don’t tease other kids about. Most gays have dealt with bullying and prejudice for a large part of their lives, so they themselves are highly aware of the difficulties their children may have. It is an opportunity to learn how to overcome obstacles in the face of adversity.

Will children raised by same sex parents become gay themselves?

Growing up in a gay household cannot make a child gay. Most gays and lesbians grew up in heterosexual households.