LGBT adoption


LGBT adoption

LGBT adoption refers to the adoption of children by lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered people.

Legal status around the world

legend|#cccccc|Unknown/AmbiguousAdoption by same-sex couples is legal in Guam, Andorra, Belgium, Iceland, [ [http://www.samtokin78.is/?Pageid=2 Samtokin:LGBT-Rights] ] the Netherlands, Norway [ [http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-7933.html Pinknews:Norway's gay marriage law also grants new parental rights] ] , Sweden, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, some parts of Australia, Canada and some parts of the United States.In Denmark, Germany, [ [http://typo3.lsvd.de/260.0.html#1269 LSVD] ] and Israel "stepchild-adoption" is permitted, so that the partner in a civil union can adopt the natural (or sometimes even adopted) child of his or her partner. In the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Hungary and some other countries, there is a universal adoption policy, meaning anyone deemed to be capable of providing a healthy stable family home, whether straight, LGBT, married, single, cohabiting or unmarried, may apply for adoption. Same-sex couples may also foster children in the Republic of Ireland as there is a dire need for foster parents. Same-sex couples may also foster children in Finland, but the majority of cases are stepchild fostering cases (stepchild adoption of same sex couples is illegal). This right in Finland is based on court judgements, but a passed law 1342/2006 clearly supports it in its 16th paragraph (Parental state-support in same-sex civil-unions). In Finland, there is also a draft bill, (as of Sept. 2008) on Dept. of Justice (OMLS 2008:12) but it is neither yet officially presented to MP:s nor even in legally correct form. The intention is to allow step-child adoption, but not joint adoption. The bill has sparked much controversy and one alternate proposal is to further restrict the forecoming step-child adoption in such a way that "mother's lesbian couple may not adopt if there is a basis for establishing paternity" by paternity law . A petition for rejecting gay adoption law outright or allowing it in very restricted form is here [ [http://iotulevaisuus.blogspot.com/2008/08/vetoomus-homoadoptiolain-hylkmisest-tai.html] ] . At least one member of Law Committee has responded positively to this petition.

In February 2006, France's Court of Cassation ruled that both partners in a same-sex relationship can have parental rights over one partner's biological child. The result came from a case where a woman tried to give parental rights of her two daughters to her partner whom she was in a civil union with. [ [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/02/25/ap/world/mainD8FVTSJO0.shtml CBS News | France Broadens Gays' Parental Rights ] ] In February 2007, France's highest court ruled against a lesbian couple who tried to adopt a child. The court stated that the woman's partner cannot be recognized unless the birth mother withdraws parental rights. The court ruling dismissed the couple's rights to co-parent the child, and stated the only way it could allow adoption would be to legalize same-sex marriage. [ [http://www.gay.com/news/election/article.html?2007/02/22/6 French high court rejects same-sex adoption - Queer Lesbian Gay Election News - Gay.com ] ] In the same case the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the lesbian couple have the right to adopt a child. [Dead link|url=http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/view.asp?item=1&portal=hbkm&action=html&highlight=43546/02&sessionid=4859311&skin=hudoc-en EMRK is for the LGBT adoption|date=April 2008 ]

On June 2, 2006 the Icelandic Parliament voted for a proposal accepting adoption, parenting and assisted insemination treatment for same-sex couples on the same basis as heterosexual couples. No member of the parliament voted against the proposal. The law went into effect on June 27, 2006.

In Uruguay, first South American country in legalizing same-sex civil unions, a law accepting gay adoption and promoted by the government is currently discussed in the national parliament, and has already been approved by the upper house. [ [http://www.clarin.com/diario/2008/03/23/elmundo/i-02601.htm Uruguay: avanza un proyecto para que los gays puedan adoptar ] ]

In New Zealand, preliminary New Zealand Law Commission Reports and white papers have raised the issue already, while Metiria Turei, a Green Party of New Zealand List MP raised the issue in late May 2006.Fact|date=June 2007 In February 2005, the Greens had suggested that an adoption law reform clause should be added to the Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005, which equalized heterosexual, lesbian and gay spousal status in New Zealand law and regulatory policy, apart from the Adoption Act 1955.Fact|date=June 2007 While the measure was unsuccessful, it remains to be seen whether a reintroduced adoption law reform bill on its own would fare differently. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3675250a6160,00.html]

A January 2005 ruling of the Israeli Supreme Court allowed stepchild adoptions for same-sex couples. Israel previously allowed limited co-guardianship rights for non-biological parents. [ [http://www.365gay.com/newscon05/01/011005isAdopt.htm Gay News From 365Gay.com ] ]

In 2007 UK Catholic adoption agencies, comprising around a third of the voluntary sector, have said they will shut if forced to comply with new government legislation requiring them to enlist same-sex couples as potential adoptive parents.Fact|date=June 2007 The government announced they will have to obey the law, although MP Ruth Kelly allowed them some extra time to comply.Fact|date=June 2007

Controversy

There is some controversy surrounding adoption by same-sex couples. The controversy generally concerns whether or not there are negative consequences for unrelated children to be raised by same-sex couples. Specific questions include the potential for gender confusion, biased sexual orientation, or the general well-being of such children. While it is true that numerous studies suggest a parent's sexual orientation has little bearing on that of children, and that children of LGBT couples fare as well as others on many measures, these studies cannot be broadly extended to unrelated adoptions since they do not account for biological relationships. [Patterson, Charlotte J. (2006). "Children of Lesbian and Gay Parents." Current Directions in Psychological Science (Vol. 15, Issue 5, pp 241-244). Blackwell Publishing] In fact, research indicates that the most successful adoptions are those where both parent and adoptee recall similarities in personality, likes, and appearance. [ L. Raynor, The Adopted Child Comes of Age, 1980 ] Nevertheless, the American Psychological Association, Child Welfare League of America, and American Academy of Pediatrics believe LGBT adoptive parents are as qualified as heterosexuals. Additionally, beyond the issue of the best interest of the child, some people object to LGBT parenting on moral or cultural grounds, and the issue is considered a part of the West's culture war.

Many same-sex couples are already coparenting children without legal status for the nonbiological parent; some advocates thus argue that adoption can simply normalize and add stability to an existing arrangement, while opponents of LGBT parenting contend that such arrangements are harmful to children and should not be encouraged.

As an outgrowth of the controversy surrounding unrelated adoption by LGBT persons, a report from UCLA Law School's Williams Institute and the Urban Institute found that forbidding qualified gays, lesbians and bisexuals from adopting or fostering children could cost the United States between $87 million and $130 million per year because it reduces the pool of potential applicants. [G. Gates, et al., [http://www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/publications/FinalAdoptionReport.pdf Adoption and Foster Care by Gay and Lesbian Couples in the United States] , March 2007, page 19.] The study, however, also indicates that LGBT couples adopt "special needs" children at rates similar to other groups. [ [http://www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/publications/FinalAdoptionReport.pdf Adoption and Foster Care by Gay and Lesbian Couples in the United States] , March 2007, page 12.] Thus, it cannot be concluded that LGBT adoption is focused on such children.

ee also

*LGBT parenting
*Adoption
*Heterosexism
*Same-sex marriages and civil unions
*LGBT rights

Bibliography

*New Zealand Law Commission: "Adoption- Options for Reform: Wellington: New Zealand Law Commission Preliminary Paper No 38": 1999: ISBN 1-877187-44-5

Further reading

* Primary resource collection and readings. Library of Congress. Jefferson or Adams Bldg General or Area Studies Reading Rms

* Primary resource collection and readings. Library of Congress. Jefferson or Adams Bldg General or Area Studies Reading Rms

* Stacey, J. & Davenport, E. (2002) Queer Families Quack Back, in: D. Richardson & S. Seidman (Eds) Handbook of Lesbian and Gay Studies. London, SAGE Publications), 355-374.

References

External links

* [http://www.newfamilysocial.co.uk Gay adoption group, New Family Social] - Resources and contact network for LGB adopters.
* [http://www.familiesjoinedbylove.com Families Joined by Love] - Books and resources for LGBT Families.
* [http://www.aican.org/ AICAN - Australian Intercountry Adoption Network]
* [http://www.nclrights.org National Center for Lesbian Rights] - Information about the legal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families, including a legal information hotline.
* [http://www.aap.org/advocacy/archives/febsamesex.htm AAP News Release - AAP Says Children of Same-sex Couples Deserve Two Legally Recognized Parents]
* [http://www.psych.org/news_room/press_releases/adoption_coparenting121802.pdf New Position Statement Adopted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA): Adoption and Co-Parenting of Children by Same-Sex Couples (PDF)]
* - A site that describes a recent effort by GLBTQ parents to overturn Florida's ban.
* [http://www.gay.com/news/roundups/package.html?sernum=362&navpath=/channels/families/parenting Gay.com - Adoption and Parenting] - News and Current Events pertaining to the rights and responsibilities of same-sex parents in adopting and parenting.
* [http://www.familypride.org/ Family Pride Coalition] - The only US-based national level non-profit organization solely dedicated to advocating for LGBT parents and their families.
* [http://www.familieslikeours.org/ Families Like Ours] - Adoption resource center with a focus on same-sex parenting.
* [http://rockway.alliant.edu The Rockway Institute] for LGBT research in the public interest at Alliant International University
* [http://www.COLAGE.org/ COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere)]
* [http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=7f508a13-abed-43cc-a346-f18fbd30250e&k=15909&p=1 Canada.com "In the Family Way"] - News story of gay and lesbian adoptive families, and the surrogate and donor family.
* [http://www.familieslikemine.com/ Families Like Mine]
* [http://www.diversefamilyresource.com/ Diverse Family Resource, PC, Advocates and supporters of LGBT families]


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