While deciphering which states have the worst adoption laws is relatively easy— these sates tend to attract controversy and attention—finding out which states are best for same-sex adoption is, like the laws governing adoption, slightly tricky. There are three kinds of laws important for same-sex individuals and couples looking to adopt, and they are also the three criteria by which we picked the best states for LGBT adoption.
First, the state must allow LGBT individuals to adopt. Most states allow it, while only
Florida, home of the harshest LGBT adoption laws, currently explicitly bans the practice. The second criterion is the allowance of same-sex couple adoption. While only
one state explicitly bans individual LGBT adoption, adding a partner to the mix changes
the circumstances dramatically. Two individuals who have the ability to adopt seperately
lose that ability when they enter into a same-sex couple, even though most adoption
agencies prefer couples adopt over single parents.
couples become more complicated, and some states, including New York, begin to have
varying adoption laws by jurisdiction. Only five states, three of them on our worst
states to adopt list, explicitly ban LGBT same-sex adoption, while others have no legal
lingo that directly addresses it. Without legal language regarding adoption, there is no
precedent for agencies to follow, leading to complicated state-by-state adoption practices.
Second Parent Adoption
The recognition of the petition of same-sex partners to adopt a partner’s child
is the last criterion. Only four states explicitly ban the practice, two of which also don’t
match the second criterion (Arkansas and Missouri.) Only sixteen out of fifty states
meet all three criteria: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine,
Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Washington,