Not all LGBT couples looking to start a family will opt for infertility treatments; some may instead choose to adopt a child. Adoptions can be either domestic (within the country) or international.  Adoption law varies from state to state; hence, it is important to find out what type of adoption your state allows, as well as their specific regulations.

Types of Adoptions:

  • Public adoptions through the local public agency (also known as foster care, child welfare, or social services)
  • Private adoptions through licensed private agencies (permissible in most states and many foreign countries)
  • Independent or designated adoptions where prospective adopting and prospective placing parents have located each other themselves.

Preparing to Adopt

It is important that prospective adoptive parents educate themselves about the adoption process and make detailed preparations. When writing an adoption plan, adoptive parents should consider their reasons for adoption and if they want to adopt a child of a particular race, age, or gender. A good adoption plan should also consider whether a private, public or independent adoption is most desirable and whether they would like to adopt from within the country or internationally.

Adoptive parents should read all the information they can about adoption agencies, attorneys, support groups and laws which may be applicable to their situation.  Another good approach is to talk to parents who have been through the adoption process. The Internet is also a valuable resource for joining online adoption information groups.

Working with an experienced infertility or adoption counselor can also make decisions easier.

Online Adoption Resources

Child Welfare Information Gateway A federal government website with adoption information
Intercountry Adoption A government website with information on intercountry adoption
Adoption Resources A non-profit with adoption information for the public
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association   A non-profit organization mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders