LGBTQ adoption has been in the news lately as some states, specifically Illinois, have prohibited state funded adoption agencies from discriminating against any un-married couple. While states such as Virginia, continue to not allow LGBTQ couples to adopt, though the state will allow a LGBTQ person to adopt if they are single.
A recent journal article published by LiveScience researched the similarities and differences between children raised by heterosexual couples and children raised by LGBTQ couples, and ultimately found that it is the quality of the parent and not the gender or sexual orientation that really matters.
The Urban Institute commissioned a report in 2007 that showed just how interested LGBTQ couples are in growing their family through adoption. According to the LiveScience article, the report found that “more then half of gay men and 41 percent of lesbians in the US would like to adopt.” The report said that these numbers added up to about two million potential adoptive parents.
In the article, Abbie Goldberg, who is a psychologist at Clark University and researches gay and lesbian parenting, said that LGBTQ parents “tend to be more motivated, more committed than heterosexual parents on average, because they chose to be parents.” Goldberg went onto say that the accidental pregnancy rate is close to 50 percent among heterosexuals, while “gays and lesbians rarely become parents by accident.”
According to the article, research has shown that children with LGBTQ parents show minimal differences in “achievement, mental health social functioning and other measures.” These kids also have the advantage of “open-mindedness, tolerance and role models for equitable relationships,” the article said.
The article stressed that there are many heterosexual couples that instill these same qualities in their children, which shows one of the main findings of the report; that sexual orientation does not affect ones parenting skills.
According to Judith Stacey, who is a sociologist in New York, much of the research against LGBTQ adoption is misrepresented because it compares children with two parents to children with single parents instead of children with heterosexual parents and children with LGBTQ parents.
“Two good parents are better than one parent,” Stacey said in the article “but one good parent is better than two bad parents. And gender seems to make no difference.”
Adoption STAR’s goal is to find families for children, and in doing so we work with a diverse clientele including: single parents and LGBTQ and heterosexual couples. For more information on Adoption STAR’s domestic infant adoption program, please click here. If you’d like information on our International adoption programs, please visit this link.
To read the complete journal article on Yahoo! News, please click here.
Today’s blog post will be fairly short. I just wanted to check in on Modern Family after this week’s episode had Cam and Mitchell meet with an expectant mother they were hoping to be matched with. I thought the episode did a great job of adding just the right amount of comedy while still displaying the stress and emotions of the situation. The part that had me laughing most was Mitch and Cam attempting to impress the woman with a song (which can be seen in the first video.) I thought the scene worked because the song played off their nervous energy which can be a normal feeling during the first meeting.
What did everyone else think about the episode (which can be seen in its entirety in the second video) and how it handled an adoption storyline?
In April we wrote a blog post about the State of Virginia voting to “continue a practice that some argue allows faith-based organizations in Virginia to discriminate in adoptions.” The people discriminated by these regulations were LGBTQ couples. The Virginia law states that adoption agencies must allow single parents (heterosexual or LGBTQ) and married couples to adopt, but are allowed to discriminate on the basis of family status along with several other reasons. This regulation allows agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ couples, who are not allowed to marry in the state of Virginia, according to an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
According to the article, after the vote in April, there was enough anger throughout the state about the regulations, that a 30-day public comment period was adopted in August to gauge the public’s opinion. The article said that during that period the state received 1,611 comments that were in favor of allowing LGBTQ couples to adopt and 1,154 against. Still on Wednesday, Virginia’s Board Of Services voted in favor of maintaining the status-quo, regarding these regulations in a 5-1 vote.
The article said that the one person to vote against adoption agencies being allowed to discriminate based on family status was Bela Sood, who is the Social Services Board Chairwoman. Referring to children being raised by a mother and father, Sood said in the article that “The science really doesn’t substantiate the notion that that is the only way children should be raised.”
Along with discriminating against these couples, these regulations will have an effect on children who are available for adoption. With less available options for forever families, children will remain in the foster care system for a longer period of time with a greater possibility of “aging out” of the system without ever finding their forever family.
The article said that there are currently “1,200 children awaiting adoption and 6,000 children in Virginia’s foster-care program.”
Adoption STAR does not discriminate based on sexual orientation or family status and has a long track record of working with single parents and LGBTQ couples. Please visit the Adoptive Parents section of the Adoption STAR website for more information on our programs. You can also contact the agency by email or phone at 1-866-691-3300.
While New York State, and several other states, have recently legalized LGBTQ marriage, the Federal Government still does not recognize these unions. This effects these couples in several ways, including taxes and applying for the Adoption Tax Credit.
According to a New York Times Blog post, because the federal government views these couples as “strangers in many spheres of their financial lives,” they may be at an advantage as it relates to the Adoption Tax Credit.
The blog post went on to say that “If you adopt your spouses child, you cannot claim the (adoption tax) credit. But since same-sex couples are not considered spouses under federal law, they are permitted to use the credit.”
Issues arose recently, according to the article, because several lesbian couples who applied for the adoption tax credit after adopting their spouses child, received letters from the I.R.S. claiming that their application had been denied.
Patricia Cain, who is a Professor at Santa Clara Law and an expert sexuality and federal tax law, said that the two main reasons the I.R.S. gave for denying these applications for the Adoption Tax Credit were that the “birth mother did not terminate her rights as part of the adoption… and the adoptive mother is the domestic partner of the birth mother.”
Cain said that both of these reasons are illegitimate. Regarding the first reason the I.R.S. gave, Cain said that a lesbian birth mother would not relinquish her parental rights when performing a “second parent adoption.” Cain also said that there is nothing in the “tax code that requires the termination of parental rights.”Cain explained in the blog post that the second reason the I.R.S. gave was incorrect because “there is nothing in the tax code that says domestic partners cannot claim the credit.”
According to the blog post, a Government Accountability Office Report on the I.R.S. claimed that the tax examiners were not properly trained in all aspects of the Adoption Tax Credit, which may explain why these couples were incorrectly denied their Adoption Tax Credit.
If you believe you were incorrectly denied your Adoption Tax Credit there are forms that you can fill out, and an appeals process to go through. Cain said in the blog post that ““Most taxpayers, after pushing back hard, have had the credit allowed.”
In the article, the IRS said that “any taxpayers who feel that they were improperly denied the credit should contact the I.R.S.”
There will be many changes to the Adoption Tax Credit in the 2012 financial year. To learn about all of these changes, please consider attending Adoption STAR’s Financial Planning for the Adoptive Parents Seminar on Tuesday, January 10.
For many years the traditional American family was “mother, father and 2.5 kids.” That has changed over the years, and according to a CNN feature article there are more and more families with single parents, same-sex parents, and stay-at-home fathers then ever before.
According to the article there are currently between 1.5 million and 5 million same sex parents, compared to approximately 300,000-500,000 in 1976.
Adam Pertman, who is the Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, said that Americans have become a lot more accepting of same-sex families in recent years. “As support for legal gay marriage has grown, along with the body of research that shows same-sex parents to be just as committed, so, too, has the acceptance of gay parenthood,” Pertman said in the article.
The article also looked into single-parent-adoption. Pertman said that one reason there has been a rise in single-parent-adoption is that as women “find good careers and their earnings grow, there’s less need to find a partner to make having a family feasible.”
The article interviewed Jo Trizila, who adopted her daughter Kate two years ago, and she said that while there are times she wishes she had someone else to ask ‘am I doing this right,’ that her family and friends have been a big help in raising her daughter. She also questions if being a single-parent is that out of the ordinary in today’s culture. “”Are Kate and I that unusual?” Trizila asks in the article. “Look at the divorce statistics. There are a lot of single moms — they just didn’t adopt.” Trizila is right, as the article states that about 25 percent of all kids are raised by single parents.
The third type of parent the article looks into is the stay-at-home-dad. According to the article many fathers have found themselves staying at home to take care of the children after losing their job. The article said that 70 percent of the jobs lost during the recent recession belonged to men. The troubling economic times have pushed more men into stay-at-home-parent roles, and according to Scott Haltzman, M.D., who co-wrote the book “The Secrets of Happily Married Men and The Secrets of Happy Families,” this has begun to change people’s opinion on gender roles in the family. “We’re slowly rejecting the old stigma that if a guy is home with the kids, there’s something wrong with him,” Haltzman said in the article.
While there are now more stay-at-home-fathers, Haltzman said in the article that there are still challenges these men will face. “many men find themselves shut out of the social infrastructure that surrounds at-home parents, since they’re still mostly female,”Haltzman said.
The view of “the traditional family” is ever-changing, and it is great to see that there are now more viable options then ever-before for children to have forever families.
For those in the Syracuse area, there will be a “Foster Care and Adoption Information Session for LGBTQ People” on Wednesday, November 9 from 6-8 pm. The event will take place at The Q Center, 617 West Genesee St. Syracuse, NY.
Several adoption agencies, including Adoption STAR, will be in attendance and will offer you the ability to ask questions and receive free information. The event will also offer you the opportunity to learn more about the foster care and adoption process in an LGBTQ-affirming setting and speak with other LGBTQ prospective parents.
To RSVP for the event or receive more information, please email Claudia Stallman, of the Lesbian and Gay Family Building Project, or call (607)724-4308
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Adoption STAR Adoptive Family Picnic
We're just over two weeks away from the Adoption STAR Adoptive Family Picnic (Sunday, August 5, from 1-4 pm, at Ellicott Creek Park Shelters 10 A and 10 B) and if you haven't RSVP'd yet, you still have time; just email Read more..