More than 104,000 youth in the U.S. foster care system are awaiting permanent families. According to a report by the Williams Institute, in 2007 there were 270,000 children in the U.S. who lived with same-sex couples. Of these, one-quarter, or 65,000, were adopted.
According to a June 2011 report issued by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), the following states have established laws (either through statutes or published appellate court opinions) that explicitly allow same-sex couples to adopt, either through a second parent adoption, domestic partner adoption or civil union adoption: California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington.
The Children’s Bureau, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, funds the initiative each November in partnership with AdoptUSKids and Child Welfare Information Gateway as a way to focus public attention on the urgent need for more adoptive families for children and youth waiting in foster care for a permanent family.