Co-Parent Adoption (Same Sex Partners)


There is much discussion and debate among agencies, social workers, and policy makers about same sex partners being able to adopt and foster adopt. In the U.S., there are an estimated 65,000 children who have been adopted by a same sex couple and another 14,000 children who are in same sex parent foster homes.

Even though many adoption agencies welcome same sex partners who wish to adopt, there are specific challenges to deal with depending on where you live and whether you adopt as a single person or a couple.

Most States do not have laws stating if a same sex couple can adopt or be foster parents, although there are a few that specifically prohibit same sex adoption. There are some States that will allow single people to adopt but will not allow same-sex or unmarried couples to adopt.

With private domestic adoption, unless there is a state law or agency policy that doesn’t allow it, then it is up to the prospective birthparents to choose the adoptive parents.

With foster adoption, unless there is a law that doesn’t allow same sex partners to adopt, the child welfare professionals will make placement decisions based on the best interest of the child.

With international adoption, most countries do not allow same sex partners to adopt, although there are countries who are considering changing their laws.

Many same sex couples have found other challenges when trying to adopt such as finding a welcoming adoption agency, and getting through an adoption home study.

Some adoption agencies have a policy (either written or un-written) against same sex partners being able to adopt, however there are agencies who specifically state they are “LGBT friendly”. Many resources exist to help find a welcoming adoption professional, such as the Human Rights Campaign ( They even include a list of LGBT friendly adoption agencies and a list of 8 questions to ask before starting the adoption process.

Additional information about co-parent adoption (same sex partners) can be found at: