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Gay Adoptions Triple Over Last Decade

 Gay Adoptions Triple Over Last Decade

A new report shows that things may be turning around for gay couples, especially in Massachusetts, California, New York, and Texas.

Almost 22,000 same-sex couples adopted children in 2009, compared to around 6,500 in 2000. These figures from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law were based on Census Bureau estimates and printed in an Associate Press article this morning. The increase is attributed, in part, to eased state restrictions and more foster care adoptions.

This “stratospheric increase” in adoptions—which has long been the sole domain of wealthy gay and lesbian couples— was enhanced with the Thursday release of a four-year study focusing on 158 gay parents and their experience with the adoption process. It came from the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and reveals that the highest number of gay people adopted children from Massachusetts, California, New York, and Texas. The report acknowledges that "Several states specifically prohibit same-sex couples from adopting jointly, while others have a patchwork of discriminatory policies that make it difficult for gays and lesbians to adopt either as individuals or as couples. But some states have eased restrictions on gay families."

For example, Florida stopped enforcing its strict ban on gay parents adopting, and the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down a voter-approved measure to bar same-sex and unmarried cohabitating couples from adopting. "According to the Adoption Institute, at least 60% of U.S. adoption agencies surveyed accept applications from non-heterosexual parents," the AP states. "Nearly 40% of agencies have knowingly placed children with gay families. About half the agencies surveyed reported a desire for staff training to work with such clients."

It's not all rainbows and babies for gay parents. Numerous adoption and foster care agencies won't serve gay parents. Catholic Charities notably refused to follow the new civil unions law in Illinois this year. But as Adam Pertman, executive director of the Adoption Institute said, "If one agency doesn't serve you and you're gay, then another agency will. You don't need 100% agency participation. The bottom line is, if you're gay or lesbian in America and you want to adopt, you can."

Photos: Getty Images

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