Gay Adoption Statistics

Gay adoption statistics from 2011 and 2012. Look for updates and more analysis and insight in gay adoption statistics in this post in the coming weeks.

Gay Adoption Public Support

Public support for gay adoption is not polled often. The latest poll is 4 years old conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The results:

Support: 53%
Oppose: 39%
Unsure: 8%

Source: The Polling Report 

Gay Adoption Statistics Overall

As reported on the 2000 Census, about 65,000 children lived with same sex parents. In 2012, 110,000 live with gay parents, over a 100% increase.

Of the total amount of children in U.S. households, less than 1% live with same-sex parents. Therefore, children with same-sex parents are still far and away a minority. Here’s some charts I’ve compiled based on the latest data from the 2010 Census.

Same Sex Adoption

Sources: The New York Times and the 2000 and 2010 Census.

Whether Gay Adoption Affects Children

  • 50% of children with lesbian parents are stigmatized, but 2/3 of them develop effective coping mechanisms.
  • Among teens with lesbian mothers, no difference in quality of life based on donor status (whether they had been conceived by known or unknown donors), experienced stigmatization (whether or not they had experienced discrimination), or maternal relationship continuity (whether their mothers were still together or had separated).

Source: New Study: Teens of Lesbian Parents are Just as Happy as Teens Raised by Different-Sex Couples

Gay Adoption State Laws

In most states, whether gay adoption is legal is made on a case by case basis by a judge. However, there are 16 states that definitely allow joint gay adoptions (when a same-sex couple jointly petition for adoption):

  • Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

Other states allow second parent adoption by law. Second parent adoption is whether one person adopts the child of his partner. These states include:

  • Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont
Still, people have successfully done second parent adoptions in the following 16 states as well:
  • Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington.

The most restrictive states are Mississippi and Utah, where same sex couples cannot legally adopt at all. Gay people in Florida used to not be able to adopt, jointly or singly, but a Florida district court ruled that law unconstitutional.

Source: The Human Rights Campaign

About Gideon Alper

Gideon Alper
Gideon is a Florida attorney that focuses on gay adoption, LGBT estate planning, and second parent adoption.

1 hannah April 12, 2012 at 11:02 am

this is wrong!!! parents are parents no matter what the sex. im only 15 and i can still see that this is wrong. As long ass the child is in a loving household it shouldnt matter about anything else!!!


2 Lilly Lee ;) April 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm

right? i dont know what the problem is with all those religious freaks, but i have two lesbian moms and they love me and take care of me better then my birthparents ever did. my dad is too busy going to bars to even talk to me, we’ve been out of touch for four years. and my birth mom had a new baby, so she didn’t need me or my brothers and sisters any more. i know that my being with my moms now is better then it would’ve been if they hadn’t taken me out of the system of foster care.


3 rose July 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm

i agree that it does not matter where love comes from there are alot of so called mothers who dont care about their kids and dead beat dads


4 brianna September 24, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Its awesome that such young people take an interest in these statistics. Go you guys!


5 Ben April 22, 2013 at 12:15 am

You guys wanted data on this, here it is. Stop asking for something and then bitching once you see it. This is (questionably) pretty hard proof about the growing trend in the country. Just because you don’t agree with it doesn’t mean you need to flame the author and call it bull-crap.


6 Ben Bayer May 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Thats a bad word ben


7 tom721 July 2, 2013 at 10:20 am

The study mentioned above was funded by the Williams Institute: The Williams Institute, founded by Charles R. Williams at the UCLA School of Law, is a national LGBT think tank. Not exactly an impartial uninterested party.


8 colin May 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm

i just want to say that the paragraph below the PIE chart, neglects to mention anything about gay fathers… I am in full support of the L.G.B.T. community and its rights. though many rights are denied, we must work to get them. while i myself am not gay, i believe that Gay/Lesbian people, are human being like anyone else and deserve to have their rights.


9 Xandria Higgs September 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Hi my name is Xandria and i’m doing my capstone project on same sex adoption and I feel that just because someone is different or does things a different way doesn’t mean they aren’t human this site really helped me research wise.

Thank You!


10 Shelby November 11, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Xandria I am sorta in the sae boat as you. I am doing a research paper for my English class on this and second parents adoption. My profession told us to only use the library database but I am going outside the box. oopsie! You are right though this website is amazing and so helpful!


11 Dalani;) October 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Ya I totally agree with Hannah and I’m only 13 and I think that it’s wrong also, so if they can’t be nice bout different sex genres then they can go look in the mirror and criticize all they want about themselves, and God should be the only one to judge others!!!!!!!!


12 Dalani;) October 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Ya I totally agree and I’m only 13 and I think that it’s wrong also, so if they can’t be nice bout different sex genres then they can go look in the mirror and criticize all they want about themselves, and God should be the only one to judge others!!!!!!!!


13 ollie October 4, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I’m doing a debate at school next week on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt, and I’m happy to say I’m on the side arguing for! This site has really helped me put the finishing touches to my arguement.


14 jasmine October 17, 2012 at 10:07 am

Morels, if that’s what it comes down to then think what is truly right . Gay and lesbian couples arnt aliens there human just like you and I are , and are sure capable of handling a child and raising one properly we all have that instinct to nurture and gay or not if they had been straight they might have had children themselves but just like a straight couple who have infertility issues I see no difference .


15 Jenny Branson October 27, 2012 at 10:46 am

Thank you, Gideon, for all this great information! I am debating for Gay Adoption tomorrow in my Psychology class and your site has been very helpful! You are making a difference and I am inspired by your work!

Peace Out!
Jenny Branson

“jenny suzanne branson” on fb


16 James Mattox November 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm

my name is james however I do not want to adopt for I have four children from two marriges. I knew I was gay but I was affraid of myself and what others would think and now I have custody of my two boys which I love more than anything. I also have a colledge paper to write for colledge and I am proud to say that I choose gay rights


17 Morgan November 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I have a gay friend and I’m glad Iowa has passed gay marriage. But do other states know that they are taking away their freedom? So really they are going against the constitution? I dislike the religious freaks who go by the bible. That thing has been interpreted so many times it’s stupid. You guys are helping me write a paper for my composition class! Thanks guys!


18 Betsy Rae April 3, 2013 at 11:43 am

Same-sex adoption is extremely sad. Those parents, father-father/mother-mother are going to have to take it up with the Lord when they die. Instead of saying that they can give that adopted child everything (which they can’t give them a normal childhood) they should graciously give it up so that the child can live normally. stop being so selfish. The Lord is going to ask them, “did you teach your child about me? did you raise him in a biblical household? did you get him up and ready for church? did you raise him to always come to the Lord with questions?” It’s sad to put same-sex parents in charge of children, especailly when they are young, they will not know the truth of God until they get older. So stop being selfish, let the Lord take care of them.


19 bianca April 24, 2013 at 10:37 am

its not weather the lord wants this or not. no where in the bible does it say a woman and a woman or man and man can not have a family together. NO MAMES


20 amy guerra May 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm

children who are put of for adoption are tired of living in a foster home and want love why cant be happy just like a regaular couple. homosexuals should grow old together have life that they have dreamed of forever . they should have the right to have kids just like everyone else . they have been probably put up their a lot all their life cant they have a break and be happy for once ! people who are like this because of their religion like honestly i understand iM MORMON but i still believe love is love and love can be spread through any way possible. kids that adopted by them are not going to turn homosexual its all because of the society they are expose too. and homosexauls really want a family they will give that child everything. that child might have a hard time but who doesn’t its life .


21 Rebecca Christe June 4, 2013 at 11:02 am

no one should suffer with kids not gay parenting


22 Rebecca Christe June 4, 2013 at 11:01 am

true that!!!!!!!!!!!! Your right :) Melissa


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