Can Gay Men Adopt in the United States?

The short answer is yes, gay men can adopt in the United States. However, prospective adoptee parents are advised to look at their own state laws and legislations for second parent and stepparent adoption laws.

When the Supreme Court struck down all bans on same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015, the way was paved for gay adoption to become legal across the country. On March 31, 2016, a Mississippi federal judge ruled that the state's ban on same-sex couples adoption was unconstitutional, making Mississippi the last state to have such a law overturned. Since then, gay adoption has been legal in all 50 states and Washington, DC.

Although gay adoption is legal, there are states in America that permit state-licensed child welfare agencies to refuse to provide services to LGBT people and same-sex couples. These include Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, Michigan and North and South Dakota.

Adoption laws are primarily set at the state level, so it is important to research the laws in your particular state to determine the exact steps necessary for adoption. This article is intended to be a general guide and should not be construed as legal advice.


For more gay adoption related articles, check out these resources and stories.

How do you know if your adoption agency is LGBTQ-friendly? Gay men looking to adopt should ask these questions to find professionals with a proven track record of success working with LGBTQ parents.


Thinking about adoption? Gay men have more opportunities and options than ever before, but to be successful it is vital to know your options and understand the landscape of adoptions today. Here's an overview of domestic adoption for gay men, both couples and singles.


These gay men became dads through adoption and whole-heartedly agree that it was worth the wait.

Mitch and Jake live in Asheville, North Carolina, a small city affectionately nicknamed, "the San Francisco of the East Coast." They were married on May 23, 2014, and have been together for over 10 years. Mitch, 38, works in event planning and runs his own business from home. Jake, 32, is a scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). They're new adoptive dads to 5-month-old twins, Aiden and Andrew. Read their story.

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