Despite DOMA being overturned, and the legalization of gay marriage in the United States, same sex parents still face an uphill battle with certain issues. Adoption is one of these. The good news is that same sex adoptions are slowly and steadily becoming more accepted and common.
Based on recent surveys, the general public claimed a 53% support rating, while 39% opposed and a mere 8% stated uncertainty. To date, there are only two states remaining in the United States outlawing same sex adoption: Mississippi and Utah. The other 48 states welcome it, albeit with varying laws and guidelines on what they allow.
LGBT Adoption Statistics
First and foremost, growing up in a gay or lesbian household cannot “make a child gay.” There is zero evidence to support this. Ironically, the majority of LGBT community members grow up in heterosexual/straight homes. Gay and lesbian men and women are just as suited and equipped to raise children as straight couples and individuals are. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with whether you’ll be a good parent or bad parent. Rather, good parenting surrounds the couple’s or individual’s ability to love and nurture a child. What’s more, children are far more influenced by their parents’ relationship and mannerisms with each other than their sexual orientation.
There are over two million LGBT community members who are interested in adopting. Currently, gay and lesbian men and women are raising 4% of all adopted children in the United States, which accounts for over 65,000 children. Statistics show that California maintains the highest ratio of adopted children with same sex parents. Four additional states who hold high percentages of same sex parents are: Washington D.C. at 28.6%, Massachusetts at 16.4%, New Mexico at 9% and Alaska at 8.6%.
Homosexual vs. Heterosexual
The adoption rate for LGBT adoptive parents is greater than that of heterosexual couples. Research shows that same sex parents are four times more likely to adopt than opposite sex parents, and that they tend to be more formally educated and have more economic resources. They are also more open to adopting to children born outside the U.S. Similarly, studies have revealed that same sex parents have a higher level of motivation and commitment, as they are making a conscious choice to adopt. It isn’t something that can happen biologically for them, and accidental pregnancies are little to none.
According to the U.S. Census, there was an estimated 43,000 married same sex unions who had adopted children living with them. Children raised in such homes generally showed more self-awareness, tolerance and acceptance of others. This happened across varying cultures, races and ethnicities.
Same Sex Adoption in Nevada
Nevada’s laws regarding same sex adoption are gender-neutral. Same sex parents are allowed to adopt; however, you must be at least 10 years older than the children you want to adopt to qualify. Married or unmarried in Nevada doesn’t matter. The law permits both single parent and joint parent petitions, as well as second parent adoptions.
Nevada has no explicitly stated marriage requirement for prospective parents looking to adopt. Should a couple be legally married, though, it’s always good to petition jointly or to pursue second parent adoption. Some agencies may have minimum number of years couples must be married before they can adopt; so, for more details, be sure to consult with an adoption professional or lawyer.
In addition, Nevada grants adoptions through foster care. To do so, Nevada law states that adoptive parents need to have sufficient income, be at least 21 years of age and be absolved of any child abuse or neglect. Screenings and fingerprint clearances are helpful here.
LGBT Adoption Laws
The rules and laws pertaining to same sex adoptions vary in each state, so please be sure to consult with your adoption agency or lawyer throughout the process. They are skilled and licensed to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information, and will be able to guide you through any potential pitfalls.
It’s encouraging that the United States is becoming a more acceptant society, and that same sex parents are being allowed to adopt. Slowly, but surely, stereotypes and prejudices against the LGBT community are being shattering and spreading awareness. Differing life choices aren’t something to feel threatened by. Unfortunate circumstances relating to adopted children occur in both heterosexual and LGBT homes. Sexual orientation does not determine the outcome of an adoption.
At the end of the day, it is and always should be about the children looking for homes. Black and white, gay or straight, these children are dreaming about love. Being given a chance at life that they wouldn’t otherwise have. They are who truly matter, and they are many safeguards in the adoption process to ensure that they will find the best home possible.
Nevada couples — be sure to check out all the available resources your state has to offer! Carefully research what agencies best fit your needs, and find professionals who will fully support you. Your dream of becoming a parent can come true!
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“19 Gay Same Sex Adoption Statistics.” BrandonGaille.com, 24 May 2017, brandongaille.com/17-gay-same-sex-adoption-statistics/.
Adoptions, Lifelong. “Lgbt Adoption.” LifeLong Adoptions, www.lifelongadoptions.com/lgbt-adoption-resources/lgbt-adoption-laws/nevada.
American Adoptions, Inc. “‘What Does Adoption Mean to a Child?”.” American Adoptions – Tennessee Adoption Laws | Adoption Laws in TN, www.americanadoptions.com/nevada-adoption/nevada-adoption-requirements.
“Gayadoption.org.” Gay Adoption Facts | Families Are Created with Love., gayadoption.org/gay-adoption-state-laws/gay-adoption-in-nevada/.
“How to Adopt in Nevada.” The Best Source for Adoption Information, Considering Adoption, consideringadoption.com/adoptions-by-state/how-to-adopt-in-nevada.