For the past 20 years, November has been recognized as National Adoption Month. The month is used to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care. This year, National Adoption Month focuses on “older youth in foster care who need loving, permanent families.”
Adoption has been an important and contentious issue for the LGBTQ community. It played a critical role in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, when marriage equality opponents argued that marriage bans protected children because adoption by same-sex couples didn’t serve the best interest of a child. Luckily the Court dismissed that argument, recognizing that “same-sex couples provide loving and nurturing homes to their children.” Furthermore, allowing same-sex marriage bans to exist actually harmed and humiliated the “hundreds of thousands” of children being raised by these couples.
Currently, adoption by single LGBTQ individuals is allowed in every jurisdiction in the United States, while same-sex couples can adopt in every state and territory except for Mississippi and the American Somoa. According to the Williams’s Institute, married, same-sex couples are fives times as likely to raise an adopted or foster child than their married, different-sex counterparts. This is despite the fact that the median annual income for those same-sex couples is 5% lower than the median income of different-sex couples raising children.
Here are some other interesting statistics found in the report:
- Homeownership is higher among married couples for both same-sex and different-sex couples.
- An estimated 122,000 same-sex couples are raising children under 18.
- Nearly one in five children being raised by same-sex couples (24%) live in poverty, compared to 14% of children being raised by different sex couples.
An array of complex financial issues arise in the process of adoption and raising a child. And because it plays such an important role for same-sex couples, I want to spend the next few posts highlighting the ins and outs of the adoption process, as well as how to financial prepare for such a big change.
In the meantime, check out The National Adoption Month website to learn more about National Adoption Month and use some of its helpful resources and tools.