Pros and Cons of LGBT+ Adoption
So you’ve chosen to place your baby for adoption. Who are you going to place him or her with? It can be a difficult decision to make. There are so many different factors you can consider in an adoptive family. Do you want your child to grow up in a house with pets? A home with siblings or as an only child? Do you want them to grow up with or without religion?
Now with LGBT+ adoptions becoming more normalized, there are more choices you can make about the adoptive parents themselves. Do you want your child to be raised by a single parent? By a mom and a dad? By two dads or two moms? By genderfluid or nonbinary parents?
With every decision, there are pros and cons to weigh. Here are the pros and cons of LGBT+ adoption.
Pros of LGBT+ Adoption
- LGBT+ couples choose love: Despite how far the US has come, it can still be very difficult for people to feel comfortable coming ‘out’ as LGBT+. To be out and in a committed relationship is a very conscious choice to love despite the obstacles. If they choose love in this way, doesn’t that give a good indication of how they will choose love in an adoption? That they will choose to love your child no matter what? That they will raise your child with compassion, acceptance and understanding?
- Children raised by LGBT+ couples are more open minded: One of the only consistent differences between children raised by heterosexual and LGBT+ adoptive parents is that children raised by LGBT+ parents tend to be more empathetic and open minded. We could use a little more of that in our world today.
- LGBT+ couples utilize support systems: Though there is higher stress for LGBT+ couples and individuals, this stress doesn’t cause significant differences for the children. Researchers explained this by conjecturing that the parents utilize support systems like parenting groups and counselling. Furthermore, this helps their child become more resilient.
- Providing the miracle of adoption: One of the best things about adoption is it is an avenue for people who are physically not able to have children to become parents and raise a child. For the most part, adoption is one of the few ways LGBT+ people can have children. Being a part of helping people who were meant to be parents really become parents can be its own reward.
- They provide a loving home: This has kind of already been said as a lot of these points have focused on love, but really think about it for a moment. The goal of adoption is to give your child a loving home. A home that will be able to care for and provide for your child. What better home than one that has already proven it is a place where love is consciously chosen?
Cons of LGBT+ Adoption
- Misconceptions: While many people don’t know how to talk about adoption positively, it’s even more rare to find someone who isn’t misguided in their thoughts on LGBT+ adoption. Thanks to some of the Christian organizations which lean ultra-conservative and other ultra-conservative outlets, many people believe things like being raised by a gay couple will ‘make the child gay’ and that the child will have some sort of incomplete experience because they’ll be lacking in a role model of a each gender. These sorts of misconceptions simply aren’t true. — if who you’re raised by determines your sexuality, then how have straight couples raised gay children? If being raised without a male parent or without a female parent will cause problems, why aren’t single parents vilified in the same way? These misconceptions will cause stress for the parents, though remarkably, the higher stress does not cause adverse effects for the child. What is a more pressing concern is the discrimination these misconceptions cause.
- Discrimination: While things have certainly gotten better — we’re even at the 5 year anniversary of the Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states — there is still a long way to go. Children raised by gay couples and individuals will face discrimination and bullying more than children raised by straight couples. However, as already stated, these children will tend to be more resilient to face this. Other forms of discrimination may come from additional paperwork and other difficulties, and that will differ on a state-by-state basis.
It’s important to realize the cons of LGBT+ adoption are really due to the outside reception of it, rather than anything within the adoption itself. That said, if you will have any personal difficulty with an LGBT+ couple or individual raising your child, especially if you are doing an adoption with some degree of openness, you don’t want to put your child in a position where they will feel tensions between their adoptive parents and their birth parents.
Pros and Cons of LGBT+ Adoption
So overall, yes, there may be some difficulties with an LGBT+ adoption. There are difficulties with everything that goes against the ‘norm.’ But, just because there may be those challenges and hardships doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing, or at least giving a chance. Meet with diverse people and decide based on how you feel about them as people who will potentially raise your child, not on the labels they have.
Meet the Author: Darby Summers is an avid fan of fantasy and sci-fi stories in all mediums, and aspires to share a story of her own to add to the genres she has adored her entire life. Raised in a house with the rule: “you can stay up as late as you want, as long as you’re reading,” Darby’s passion for reading, literature, and language was inspired at a young age, and continued through her achievement of a Bachelor’s in English from Allegheny College in 2017. Darby is currently writing blog posts for Adoption Choices of New York, and is enjoying the opportunity to be part of helping families find each other and a source of information and support throughout what can be a very difficult time in life.
When she isn’t absorbed in the latest series to capture her attention, Darby enjoys working on cosplays and going to cons with friends. Her perfect night consists of staying in playing games (of the video, board or card varieties), making some delicious homemade pizza, and settling in on the couch for a movie with her husband, Adam, and cat, Sylvie.