There are many adoption agencies and lawyers to pick from in the United States to help complete your adoption journey — but they are not all created equal, and it’s important to find one that is affirming of LGBTQ adoptive parents.
“It’s important to thoroughly vet your adoption professionals to make sure they will provide you with a positive experience,” said Molly Rampe Thomas of Choice Network.
“All Children, All Families” Database at the Human Rights Campaign
The first place prospective adoptive parents should look is “All Children, All Families” database maintained by the Human Rights Campaign. This project partners with dozens of child welfare agencies across the country and include both foster care and private domestic adoption agencies. These organizations earn the “Solid and Innovative Tiers of Recognition” from HRC — meaning they have conducted a rigorous internal self-assessment, provided professional development to staff, and implemented benchmarks to ensure LGBTQ inclusion. The LGBT Bar Association’s Family Law Institute and the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproductive Professionals also maintains a directory of lawyers committed to diversity.
Tips for finding an LGBTQ-inclusive adoption professional
Regardless of the agency you choose to work with, there are some other ways to see if your adoption professionals are LGBTQ affirming. Visit the group’s website to see whether the agency or lawyer has a mission statement that specifically mentions the LGBTQ community. Check to see if the agency’s client non-discrimination statement include the terms “sexual orientation” or “gender identity”. Look for LGBTQ inclusive advertising and paperwork.
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Or, contact one of the experts interviewed for this article: