Envisaging the adoption process to strengthen gay- and lesbian-headed families: recommendations for adoption professionals

Child Welfare. 2006 Mar-Apr;85(2):317-40.


Although a growing number of child placement agencies are serving lesbians and gay men, a dearth of literature exists for adoption agency policies and practices related to working with this population. This article explores the unique characteristics and strengths of prospective gay and lesbian adoptive parents throughout each of the three phases of the adoption process-preplacement, placement, and postplacement-as well as provides suggestions for adoption professionals working with gays and lesbians. Data from a recent qualitative study of single, gay adoptive fathers are used to illustrate examples and expose areas of potential strengths of adoptive parents not generally explored in the preplacement or preparatory stage. Special attention also is given to the continuing needs of adoptive families headed by gays and lesbians after adoptive placement. Specifically explored are the needs for developing linkages with similar families, as well as providing resources designed to promote successful outcomes of adopted children raised by gays and lesbians.

MeSH terms

  • Adoption / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Adoption / psychology*
  • Female
  • Homosexuality / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Prejudice*
  • Social Work*