More Gays and Lesbians Becoming Parents
According to a study released by the Williams Institute and the Urban Institute, lesbian, gay and bisexual people are becoming parents at a faster rate. Sixty-five thousand children were adopted by gay and lesbian people, which is around 4 percent of all American adopted children. Also, 10,300 kids have been fostered by gay and lesbian individuals. (Previously, the US census had found that more than one out of three lesbians had given birth, while one out of six gay men had become a parent.) Gary J. Gates, a Senior Research Fellow at the Williams Institute, said that these numbers are only going to get larger as the years progress, as lesbian, gay and bisexual families are seen more in our culture.
Gates said in the release that research shows LGB parents are as capable as any other parents, and "in fact, studies show that these parents tend to have a higher percentage of qualities that are highly desirable. On average, LGB adoptive parents and same-sex couples raising foster children are older and more educated than other foster parents. In addition, many LGB adoptive parents have access to more economic resources than other adoptive parents."
However, many states are not receiving this message. Florida, Mississippi, and Utah all have laws saying gays and lesbians cannot adopt. Twelve states allow same-sex fostering and adopting (California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington, DC), but in other states, the laws are murkier, and lesbians and gays may be kept from adopting or fostering a child. In addition, in some of the states where there is no outright ban on gays adopting and fostering, states are thinking about creating laws that would prevent it. If those states banned adopting and fostering, it would affect 9,300 to 14,000 children. Also, studies have proven that the more moves a child makes through the adoption or foster care system, the higher the chance of a bad outcome, or outcomes for that child, involving their schoolwork, mental health, and general behavior.