No matter how you plan to complete your adoption — with a state or private agency, or independently — you will want to find professionals with a proven track record of success working with LGBTQ parents. These days, with the breadth of options available to prospective gay adoptive parents, it’s not enough for your adoption agency or lawyer to be just LGBTQ-friendly. By asking the right questions, you will be able to find professionals who are LGBTQ-competent.
Here are 5 questions you might want to consider asking your adoption professional before signing on the dotted line:
- “How many children did you place with LGBTQ families in the last year?”
The field of LGBTQ family law is rapidly evolving. So even if your adoption agency or lawyer may have had experience working with gay dads in the past, you will want to find a professional with current knowledge of state and federal laws and regulations. Recent placement of children with LGBTQ families is an indication of current knowledge of state and federal laws and regulations.
- “Can I speak with a former gay dad client?”
Agencies and attorneys who have experience working with same-sex parents should be able to supply you with a reference or two from a gay adoptive dad they have successfully worked with.
- “How long do gay dads have to wait for a child placement?”
Even though more options exist than ever before for LGBTQ people and couples to become parents, we still have additional hurdles to overcome such as longer wait times, on average, than heterosexual couples. Still, agencies and lawyers can help erase some of this discrepancy by promising an equal playing field to all clients, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
- “What are the laws affecting LGBTQ adoption in my state?”
Though it is now legal for LGBTQ couples and individuals to petition to adopt in every state in the country, complications can still arise for gay men looking to adopt, particularly if you are single or part of an unmarried couple. If you are adopting across state lines, moreover, you will be subject to the regulations that exist in both states. Your adoption agency or lawyer should be well versed in adoption laws concerning LGBTQ couples and individuals.
- “Do you use inclusive language and imagery on your website?”
Check this out for yourselves by visiting the adoption agency’s or attorney’s website and searching for examples of inclusive language and photos. LGBTQ-competent adoption professionals should include on their websites a non-discrimination statement as well as gay and lesbian adoptive images. Why? Because the use of such language and images is an indication of the level of openness about and competency with LGBTQ parents on the part of the adoption agency or attorney.
Already an adoptive dad? How did you decide whether your agency or attorney was LGBTQ-competent? Let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more, read our article “6 Adoption Tips That Every Prospective Gay Dad Needs to Know.”
Don’t forget to read our indispensable guide to adoption: “Paths to Gay Fatherhood: The Adoptive Dad.”
And read all the “Adoption Glossary Terms Every Adoptive Gay Dad Needs to Know.”