Success with LGBT Adoption
There are many examples of wonderful LGBT families who are happy and thriving. Many celebrities in same sex relationships have adopted and raised children and found great success. Some examples Neil Patrick Harris, who has two young children with his husband, and Karamo Brown, from Queer Eye. But having a happy LGBT family isn’t exclusive to celebrities. While these are some great examples, there are happy LGBT families all across the world. These are parents who often have adoption as their number one choice in parenthood.
As a birth mother preparing to place your baby for adoption, it may be helpful for you to know how the potential adoptive family might set itself up for success. When considering adoptive families, you may consider an LGBT family! If you are in the position to choose the adoptive family for your child, you may wonder how the adoptive family will approach raising your child.
All families face certain challenges when raising children, but same sex parents may face very specific challenges in raising a family. By being prepared for these challenges, they will find the same success any other healthy family would find.
There are many things LGBT parents do to raise their children well in a world where their family is not the “norm.” Ahead, you’ll find a list of things LGBT adoptive parents might do to mindfully create success with LGBT adoption. And remember, Adoption Choices of New York is available to assist with your adoption plan. Call us, text us, email us; we are here for you!
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1) Have open conversation with their children
Unfortunately, some LGBT families face discrimination. This can happen within their extended family, at school or even while out in public. For this reason, it’s important for LGBT parents to be open with their children that their family is different and that’s beautiful. Differences should be celebrated; this is something children can learn early on.
By teaching this to their children, they can prepare them for questions that may get at school or for assumptions people will make. Not all families look the same, so if adoptees of LGBT families understand this, it can help guard them from any bullies and lessen the surprise from questions they may get from other children. This can promote empathy and understanding of one another’s differences.
It may help for same sex parents to prepare their children for exactly what kinds of things people might say to them at school and how to respond appropriately to any rude remarks. For example, if a child asks why they have two dads, give them the confidence and the knowledge to say that they were adopted and have two great parents.
It’s also important for LGBT parents to be prepared for questions from your child. Why don’t they have both a mother and a father? They might explain how you, the birth mother, were not ready to raise a child, but loved your child enough that you decided to give him or her two loving adoptive parents.
Sharing books and television that showcase families like theirs can be a wonderful way to introduce and celebrate these concepts to children of LGBT families. It’s important that they feel that the world is big enough to fit all of our differences. Seeing people just like them can help children solidify the concept that they are normal.
2) Gather their network, friends and family
Some people believe that a child needs one mother and one father. In reality, there are plenty of children who grow up with only one parent. So why not two willing parents, regardless of gender? In any case, not all aspects of parenting are reliant on gender roles. A mother can kick a soccer ball around with their child and father can do hair; a good parent will take the time to nourish a child’s interests. For aspects of growing up that are more nuanced, like having to shave one’s face, family or close friends may become role models in a child’s life. Many parents in general have a network of supportive people to help them as they raise their children.
LGBT parents might also consider having a support group where their children can meet other kids with LGBT parents. This way books and stories can be supplemental while your child socializes with people in similar families. Some families might consider living in a progressive community of people where they are less likely to face discrimination.
3) Become active, enthusiastic parents
LGBT parents are often enthusiastic about parenthood and determined to give it 100 percent. This energy to do a great job is not unseen by their children; effort and the desire to be present goes a long way in raising a child! Success with LGBT Adoption is often found because same sex parents really do want to have a family of their own; the family they’ve pictured all their lives.
Finally, it’s important to remember that children raised by same sex are not fundamentally different than children raised by heterosexual couples. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), children who are raised by same sex parents are not any more likely to develop emotional or behavioral problems. At the end of the day, it’s important that children have parents who love them, and the love you have for your child is not forgotten in that.
At the end of the day, same sex parents are not very different from heterosexual ones. It’s just a matter of the specific challenges they might face and how they face them. Communication as a family unit, having a supportive network, and being enthusiastic parents goes a long way in raising a family. Success with LGBT Adoption is easily found when a family is prepared for these specific challenges. At Adoption Choices of New York, we are happy to help you through your adoption plan as you make important choices for your child.
Meet the Author: Tara Giuffre has always loved reading and writing and grew up in the worlds of Narnia, Harry Potter and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Taking this passion for stories, she received a degree from Rutgers University in Journalism & Media. Besides writing, she likes long walks on the beach, spending time with her family (and her cat, Sansa), and baking the perfect loaf of bread.
During her internship with Adoption Choices, she is looking forward to sharing vital information about adoption to families making important choices.