Growing numbers of gay couples across the country are adopting, according to census data. The percentage of same-sex parents with adopted children has risen sharply. About 19 percent of couples raising children reported having an adopted child in the house in 2009, up from just 8 percent in 2000, according to the Williams Institute. Advocates for gay families can point to legal victories in Florida last year and in Arkansas this passed spring. There are two distinct trends helping the rise of adoptions: the need for homes for children currently waiting (115,000 in the United States) and the increased acceptance of gays and lesbians in American society. Most of the legal obstacles facing gay couples intending to adopt stem from prohibitions on marriage, according to the Family Equality Council.
The Obama administration has noted the bigger role that gays and lesbians can play in adoptions. The commissioner for the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Bryan Samuels, sent a memo to that effect to national child welfare agencies in April.
“The child welfare system has come to understand that placing a child in a gay or lesbian family is no greater risk than placing them in a heterosexual family,” Mr. Samuels said in an interview.