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Gay Adoption Glossary

Joint Adoption is the adoption of a child by a married/partnered couple.

Single/Individual adoption is the adoption of a child by an unmarried partner.

Second parent adoption is the adoption that allows one partner in an unmarried couple to adopt the other partner’s child. This results in both parents having legal rights to the child. This can occur in both straight and gay relationships. This type of adoption is particularly important for children of gay and lesbian parents because same-sex couples are denied married in most states, they can’t access stepparent adoption to secure and protect their families.