One of the most excellent benefits to society stemming from gay marriage, (besides equal rights), is the prospect of abandoned children finding loving homes. Prior to 2016, single male homosexuals could legally adopt in all states. However, in some places like Georgia, Kentucky, and Michigan, there would have been doubt as to whether that person could adopt their partner’s child, for example. On the other hand, gay family adoption would’ve been nearly impossible in the states of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Michigan. This of course changed because of the Supreme Court decision made on June 26, 2015, Obergefell et al. Petitioners v. Hodges (Director – Ohio Department of Health), when same-sex marriage licenses became recognized in every state. This fundamental status remained until May of 2019 when the US Department of Health and Human Services enacted legislation allowing freedom of religious conscience, which enables faith-based organizations to deny services to LGBT individuals. According to USA Today 2018 (as cited by HHS), the new ‘conscience rule’ currently covers over 8,000 faith-based child-placing agencies nationwide.
Right now, there is an abundance of orphaned children living in the United States seeking loving families; and there is a very real and serious need for adoptive parents. The government no longer tracks domestic adoption, says Channel 6 WRGB in Albany. In any event, according to the Miracle Foundation website, there are roughly 500,000 kids in U.S. foster care alone and 8 million children in orphanages around the world. Agents and employees currently working in child adoption are critical of the system, citing bleak outcomes for the waiting children (CBS6Albany.com). Though exactly how to improve the situation may not be as apparent.
It’s interesting to consider that the first orphanages in the U.S. were created to protect white children who had lost their parents to conflict “between Indians and Whites in Natchez Mississippi,” (Minn. State Legislator, 2019). Centuries later, President Roosevelt would reform the system, and pave the way for the United States Children’s Bureau (Adoption.com, 2019), making orphans part of the nation’s welfare system.
According to Adoption.org, the process of adoption is often expensive and drawn out, and in 2014, domestic adoptions/foster care adoptions/adoptions from other countries), dropped to 110,373 from 133,737 in 2007. Prices for both adoption via domestic agency and international adoptions often run high and may range from $5,000-$40,000 (Creating a Family, 2019). The most reasonable way to adopt a child, the site says, is via foster care, which normally ranges from -0 to $2,000.
The AmericanAdoptions.com website states that domestic adoption is typically easier to accomplish than international, for gay families. International adoption itself is said to be in decline as many countries have barred or restricted American parents over the last decade. However, foreigner – LGBT adoption is currently permitted in Columbia, Brazil, and the Philippines, the latter of which must be done as an individual and not as a same-sex couple.
Despite trends in paid surrogacy and IVF the costs of which can exceed $100,000 (NBC News, 2018), adoption was the primary option for homosexual families (Robinson as cited in Whatley, Cave, Breneiser, 2016); and as of 2019, same-sex couples are four times as likely than different-sex couples to be raising an adopted child (Lifelong Adoptions, 2019).
Written by: m.wilson