Homophobia and legislation can be detrimental to creating a family. But perseverance makes our hopes reality.

Gays and lesbians are fighting to become parents in many parts of America. More and more of us are working within the framework available to us and getting the job done.

Every family’s story is unique.

Many states don’t have specific laws or court decisions on gay adoption or gay foster parenting. Eleven states and Washington, D.C. either implicitly or explicitly state that sexual orientation cannot legally prevent gay and lesbians from adopting. Three states have laws denying gays and lesbians the right to adopt or take in foster children.

Though Mississippi allows single gays and lesbians to adopt, it prohibits same-sex couples from adopting. Utah excludes same-sex couples indirectly through a statute barring all unmarried couples from adopting or taking in foster children.

Florida is currently the only state that specifically bans “homosexual” individuals from adopting, although the state does allow them to be foster parents.

In the remaining 36 states, gays and lesbians who want to adopt or take in foster care children are at the mercy of judges and adoption and foster agencies.

Photo: Family Pride