“Anyone can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a daddy.”
One of my earliest memories is with my dad, snuggled against his chest and rocking back and forth in his brown corduroy recliner. I remember the squeaks it made on the back tilt, and the steady, peaceful rhythm of his heartbeat. Growing up, my dad was the one I ran to when I was scared, needed advice, or wanted to learn how to ride a bike. He later taught me about driving a car, and many other important life lessons.
Dads are pretty incredible. Pillars of wisdom, stability and strength. At the same time, resources for support, comfort and encouragement. It takes a special calling to be a dad. Gay or straight — it doesn’t matter. Dads are essential in a child’s life.
For all prospective gay dads hoping to adopt, here are the bare essentials of what you need to know when it comes to adopting as a same sex parent.
Know Your State’s Laws
As with all adoptions, state laws and regulations will vary depending on where you live. Same sex couples are now able to adopt in all 50 states, yet special rules still remain in regards to custody and parental rights. Be sure to research everything you can in your state, and consult your adoption agency or lawyer with any questions or concerns.
To learn about New York’s state laws regarding same sex adoption, check out the resource we published back in December.
Same Sex Adoption
With same sex adoption, couples and individuals have two available options: surrogacy or adoption. There is no right or wrong decision, and it is a deeply personal one. Researching the pros and cons of each, and consulting friends and family could offer guidance with this. Ultimately, though, the choice is about what works best for you and your family.
If you choose adoption, the next step would be to consider whether you are looking to enter into an open adoption or closed. Unfortunately, this choice can make many prospective adoptive parents nervous. To help, think about what would benefit your child most. Would you like to give him or her the opportunity to have access to medical records? Are you comfortable with them remaining in contact with their birth family? The answers to these questions will determine what path you deem most appropriate for you and the family you wish to create.
Because a sense of openness is more strongly encouraged in adoptions today, it may be more challenging to find a birth mother who agrees to a closed adoption. Consult your adoption agency or lawyer for additional information, and how to best navigate this portion of your adoption journey.
Bare Essentials of Gay Adoption
Even though gay adoption has become increasingly more common in the United States, discrimination and stigmas still run rampant. According to a recent study, approximately two-thirds of gay fathers experienced stigmas solely based on their status as homosexual dads. Half of them reportedly avoided situations out of fear of additional mistreatment.
On the other hand, more and more studies and news articles are being published in support of gay adoption, proclaiming benefits and positive evidence. What’s more, there has yet to be any psychological results to prove that children are disadvantaged being raised by two dads.
Adoption Choices of New York
Our agency helps individuals and couples throughout the state of New York (and beyond) who are considering adoption, and wish to start or enlarge their families through the miracle of infant adoption. We believe that you should show birth parents that a baby can join a loving, responsible family regardless of sexual orientation. We proudly make our services available to all members of the LGBTQI+ community.
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of New York.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
Adoptions, Lifelong. “5 Adoption Tips for Same Sex Couples.” LifeLong Adoptions, www.lifelongadoptions.com/10-lgbt-adoptive-parents/301-5-adoption-tips-for-same-sex-couples.
Craft, Carrie. “Gay Couples and the Adoption Process.” Verywell Family, Verywell Family, 30 Oct. 2018, www.verywellfamily.com/the-basics-of-gay-adoption-26662.
Lambert, Michael. “6 Adoption Tips That Every Prospective Gay Day Needs to Know.” Gays With Kids, Gays With Kids, 19 May 2018, www.gayswithkids.com/6-adoption-tips-that-every-prospective-gay-dad-needs-to-know-2465985752.html?rebelltitem=6#rebelltitem6.
Rapaport, Lisa. “Gay Fathers Face Stigma as Parents.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 15 Jan. 2019, www.reuters.com/article/us-health-lgbt-gay-dads/gay-fathers-face-stigma-as-parents-idUSKCN1P92TS.