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Adoption and same-sex couples

There are children without parents still waiting for someone to come along and adopt them. Recent research suggests that same-sex couples who are married are more likely to adopt these children than are married couples of differing genders. In fact, 22 percent of same-sex couples currently are raising a child through adoption or through the foster care system. Only three percent of different-sex married couples are doing the same thing.

There may also be economic advantages for children if adopted by same-sex couples. The average income for same-sex couples is more than 15 percent higher than it is for different-sex couples. While this in itself should not be a determining factor in which couple is entitled to adopt, it does demonstrate that same-sex couples are responsible members in our community who hold challenging positions.

Despite such findings, the ability of same-sex couples to adopt children is still restricted in many areas. We’re seeing legislatures in certain states passing legislation designed to prevent same-sex couples from adopting. There currently are challenges to certain pieces of these kinds of legislation in courts as well.

Maryland has been ahead of many states when it comes to legislation protecting the rights of same-sex couples to marry. This includes signing into law legislation allowing such marriages to take place followed by a popular vote supporting the legislation. However, how courts rule in such matters still remains unpredictable because these kinds of legislation are so recent. This is especially true when it comes to the rights of same-sex couples to adopt children.

Attorney practicing in same-sex family law areas need to keep up on such legislation including the kinds of challenges happening in various courts. Familiarity with the laws and recent trends on the part of attorneys helps provide stronger representation for same-sex couples.

Source: Windy City Media Group, “Reports: Married same-sex couples more likely to adopt,” Margo Anderson, March 31, 2015

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