Adoption More Open for Gays and Lesbians
Discrimination based on sexual orientation still exists, but many adoption agencies are open to placing children with gay and lesbian parents, according to "Adoption Agency Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Prospective Parents: A National Study."
The Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., study features results of the first nationwide survey focusing on attitudes and practices by agencies regarding homosexual adoption, which was mailed to 891 adoption program directors in public and private adoption agencies. Findings are based on 214 completed surveys received from 194 private agencies in 45 states and Washington, D.C., and 20 from public agencies in 13 states.
"Sixty-three percent of the respondents said their agency accepted adoption applications from homosexual individuals, and nearly 38% indicated they had made at least one adoption with a gay or lesbian adult during the two-year study period," notes David Brodzinsky, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology and director of the Foster Care Counseling Project at Rutgers.
Brodzinsky found two key factors that impacted willingness to consider homosexuals as adoptive parents: the religious affiliation of the agency and the type of children it placed. According to the survey, agencies operating under fundamentalist Christian beliefs were "never" willing to accept applications from homosexuals. Agencies affiliated with the Catholic Church were "seldom" willing to accept applications; only 14% said they would. Forty-two percent of mainstream Protestant-affiliated agencies and 92% of Jewish-affiliated agencies were willing to accept applications from gay and lesbian individuals. Public agencies were 100% willing, except in states that ban homosexual adoption, and 77% of private, nonaffiliated agencies indicated that they would accept applications from gays and lesbians.
"Some religiously affiliated agencies didn't have direct edicts against homosexual adoption. Instead, they had policies of only placing children with married couples, which meant they didn't accept adoption applications from single parents or homosexual adults," explains Brodzinsky. …