HRC Welcomes Study Showing 60 Percent Of Us Adoption Agencies Open To Same-Sex Parents

A new report finding a majority of adoption agencies accept
applications from gay men and lesbians is welcome news and confirms that
most agencies are placing the welfare of children first, spokespeople
for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's FamilyNet project said today.

The report, released October 29th by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute,
found 60 percent of the country's adoption agencies accept applications
from gay and lesbian couples. The study further showed that 40 percent
of U.S. agencies have already placed children in homes with gay or
lesbian parents.

"We are gratified to see this clear evidence that most adoption agencies
recognize that gay and lesbian people can provide a stable, nurturing
and loving environment for children," said HRC Education Director Kim I.
Mills, who oversees HRC FamilyNet. "We applaud those agencies that
recognize how important it is to place these children in homes where
they will be cherished."

Mills noted that the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American
Psychological Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the
North American Council on Adoptable Children and other important child
welfare organizations have all issued statements affirming that gay and
lesbian parents are just as likely to raise happy, well-adjusted
children as anyone else.

"Now we know a majority of adoption agencies in this country agree with
our foremost medical and public health experts that gay and lesbian
couples make good parents," said Lisa Bennett, director of HRC
FamilyNet, the most extensive resource on gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender family issues. "This should be a wake-up call to legislators
that same-sex couples and their children need and deserve the same
rights and protections that all other families take for granted."

Only seven states and the District of Columbia guarantee second-parent
adoption, either through law or high court rulings.

"This means that in most states, children in families headed by same-sex
couples may be legal strangers to one of their parents," Bennett said.
"This places the children at great risk, should something happen to the
legal parent. We are hopeful that adoption and child welfare agencies
will work with us to make second-parent adoption universally available."

The report also found that the agencies most likely to place children
with gay parents are public, secular private, Jewish- and
Lutheran-affiliated agencies, and those focusing on special needs and
international adoption.

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