For many same-sex and LGBTQ+ couples, starting a family can seem like a much more challenging and daunting task than it should be. Despite recent advancements in LGBTQ+ rights in the United States, including a Supreme Court decision finding workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity unlawful, same-sex and LGBTQ+ couples continue to face unfair barriers and complex legal and bureaucratic hurdles when it comes to adoption.
Further complicating matters, legislation on the topic of adoptions for same-sex couples differ greatly by state in America. Fortunately, in the state of California same-sex adoption has been legal since 2003. Same-sex couples and LGBTQ+ couples in California have the same legal rights as heterosexual or cisgendered couples, helping to ease the process of adoption, at least from a legal standpoint.
However, there are still many complications and difficulties that may arise during the adoption process, and adopting a child can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety. Fortunately, by following a few easy tips, you can have a better chance of avoiding potential complications and headaches down the line when adopting. Here are the top five adoption tips for same-sex and LGBTQ+ couples in California.
Talk About Your Options Together
One of the most important steps when couples begin the adoption process is deciding on how they want to adopt. There are a variety of options available for adoption. The first of these is adopting a child that belongs to your partner, such that the individual adopting the child gains parental rights just like their partner. While these comprise the majority of adoptions in California, that isn’t what most couples mean when they say they want to adopt. In order to adopt a child that belongs to neither parent, LGBTQ+ couples can look into adopting from a pregnant mother, adopting from within their own families, or adopting a born child through an adoption agency.
Each of these options for adoption comes with advantages and disadvantages. Adopting a child from birth can feel more natural and ensure that the child forms a bond with their adopted parents from day one, but the mother may choose to keep their child once the baby is finally born, which creates complications even past the initial adoption process.
Adopting from within your own families can be a fantastic option if the child is released willingly, but in instances where a child is being adopted because of neglect from their biological parents, any resistance to the adoption may result in lengthy court battles over custody.
Finally, adopting a child through an adoption agency is the most traditional form of adoption, but can require significant scrutiny from the agency to determine if you and your partner are capable of raising a child, as well as other legal paperwork. Children adopted through an adoption agency may also have prior behavioral or medical conditions that need to be addressed, as well as complicated family histories.
Before committing to an option of adoption, make sure both you and your partner are aware of the advantages and drawbacks of each, and make sure you are both on the same page about how you want to handle the adoption. You should also discuss how parental duties will be split and other day-to-day concerns.
Choose An Agency You Trust
Whichever type of adoption you and your partner decide to pursue, it’s important that you and your partner are able to trust all the people working with you through the adoption. This can include the surrogate of your adopted child, a social worker, or an adoption agency.
If you choose to adopt with an adoption agency, it is particularly important that you choose one that makes you and your partner comfortable and is committed to helping same-sex couples adopt. While legal distinctions between same-sex and heterosexual couples may have been eliminated, some agencies may still retain certain prejudices that will distress the adoption process, so it’s important that you should always find an agency you trust to help you through the adoption process.
Create A Positive Home Environment
Finally, it’s extremely important that you and your partner demonstrate you are able to provide your adopted child with a happy, healthy, and safe home environment, both during the adoption process and afterward. A lot of factors may contribute to a positive home environment, such as the type of home you own, the neighborhood you live in, the health of your relationship with your partner, and the quality of the house you live in.
Make sure your home is safe for your adopted child, and perform any necessary repairs or house maintenance before you initiate the adoption process. Companies such as Networx help customers find contractors offering a wide variety of services. Be sure to check out Networx reviews for more information on how their contractors can help you set up your home so that it’s ready to welcome a new member. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that you and your partner are able to adopt your very own precious child as soon as possible.