Adoption Laws - Gay and Lesbian Couples: Are They Fit To Be Parents?.
The pathway one has to take in adopting a child is very complex. Many prospective adults that desire to adopt have to undergo evaluation, and an interview to make sure that they are fit to be parents. There are many laws, federal and state, that ensures the child's best interest and welfare is placed first. Many of these laws are strict and eliminate many people from being able to adopt, this is one of the reasons why there are more that 494,000 children in the United States alone in a foster home waiting to be adopted. (Foster Care and Adoption Stats) This number has almost doubled in the past 20 years, in 1982 there was 262, 000 children in foster homes. (Foster Care and Adoption Stats) .
One of the most controversial laws has been a very recent issue, which prohibits gay and lesbian couples to adopt. Most states currently allow an individual gay or lesbian adult to adopt a minor child subject, as is in any adoption, as long as the parent seems to be "fit". No states currently sanction in statute adoption by lesbian or homosexual couples. Most states require couples to be legally married in order to adopt a child. The fact that same sex couples are barred from legal marriage in 49 out of 50 states act as a barrier to joint adoption. (National Adoption Information Clearinghouse).
Only two states in the nation -- Florida and New Hampshire -- explicitly prohibit gay adoptions by law. In the remaining states, adoption agencies and courts apply a "best interest of the child" standard to make a final determination about an adoption. (American Civil Liberties Union) Most states that have considered lesbian and gay adoptions have rejected the notion that a person's sexual orientation is enough to brand them "unfit" parents. (American Civil Liberties Union).
The controversy over whether or not homosexual parents are fit to be parents is quite young, and psychological research has been a recent vintage.