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Working With Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Families in Adoption
Series: Bulletins for Professionals|
Child Welfare Information Gateway |
|Year Published: 2011|
Advantages of Including LGBT Adoptive Families
Many LGBT individuals can identify with, and have come to terms with, many of the difficult feelings that children in foster care have experienced. These insights give them the empathy and strong sense of advocacy that is required to meet the needs of children adopted from foster care.
There are numerous benefits to establishing policies and practices that welcome and support LGBT adoptive families. An analysis of data from the National Survey of Family Growth suggests that up to 2 million LGB individuals expressed an interest in adoption as a path to family building (Gates, Badgett, Macomber, & Chambers, 2007). Recent studies show that children raised by LGBT parents are highly successful in all measures, from academic achievement to interpersonal relationships (Farr, Forssell, & Patterson, 2010). Research provides evidence of a myriad of strengths and capacities that LGBT individuals and same-sex couples bring as prospective adoptive parents (Brooks & Goldberg, 2001; Downing, Richardson, Kinkler, Goldberg, 2009; Mallon, 2007; Ryan & Cash, 2004):
- They are highly motivated to adopt; for most, it's their first choice in family building.
- They tend to be highly engaged and invested in the adoption process.
- They have a deep understanding of how it feels to be "different."
- They embrace a broader definition of "family," often as a result of facing rejection by their family of origin and by establishing their "family of choice."
- They are able to advocate for fairness and equality for their family.
- Many have overcome oppression, discrimination, and other obstacles in their own lives.
- They are able to support children who struggle with peer relationships and identity issues.
- There is vast regional, racial, and ethnic diversity within the LGBT community (Gates et al., 2007).
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