You’re an adoptive gay dad. And, since you went successfully through the adoption process, you probably fancy yourself an expert on the topic. But how many of these lesser known and surprising facts about LGBTQ adoption did you know?
Surprising Fact #1:
Mississippi was the last state in the country to legalize same-sex adoption. However, more LGBT couples are raising children in the Magnolia State than in any other in the country! According to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, 27 percent of same-sex couples in Mississippi are raising children. The District of Columbia ranks last, with 9 percent of same-sex couple raising children.
Surprising Fact #2:
Same-sex couples are four times more likely than straight couples to be raising an adopted child. In fact, in the United States around 16,000 same-sex couples are raising more than 22,000 adopted children.
Surprising Fact #3:
Same-sex parents are more likely to adopt a child of a different race than straight couples. One reason for this is that LGBT individuals are also more likely to be involved in an interracial couple than heterosexual couples.
Surprising Fact #4:
Americans are more likely to support adoption rights for LGBT people than marriage rights. In 2014, the last year Gallup polled on the issue, 63 percent of respondents supported the ability of LGBT couples to adopt. That same year, 55 percent of respondents said they supported marriage rights. (In 2016, Gallup found support for same-sex marriage had grown to 61 percent.)
Surprising Fact #5:
Same-sex parents report higher levels of stress than their heterosexual counterparts. Dr. Nanette Gartrell, a researcher at the Williams Institute who studies LGBTQ families, believes this may be because many gay and lesbian parents feel cultural pressures to justify their ability and right to be a parent.
Surprising Fact #6:
LGBTQ dads and moms should be less stressed, however, when they learn this: The largest peer-reviewed study on the subject of LGBTQ parenting found there is no difference in the wellbeing of children raised in same-sex versus opposite-sex headed households. And in fact, some studies have found slight benefits in emotional stability and physical health for children raised in same-sex households!
For more, read our article “Adoption Glossary Terms Every Adoptive Gay Dad Needs to Know.”
Don’t forget to read our indispensable guide to adoption: “Paths to Gay Fatherhood: The Adoptive Dad.”