New Yorkers are aware that more and more children today are growing up with parents of the same sex. The number of same-sex couples raising children in the United States is rising steadily according to the United States Census Bureau. According to estimates, the percentage of same-sex couples that have decided to raise children has more than doubled in 10 years, jumping up from 9 percent of couples in 2000 to 19 percent of same-sex couples in 2010.
The primary path for same-sex couples looking for a child is adoption. Adoption, however, can provide legal difficulties for many same-sex couples. The level of difficulty often depends on the agency the couple chooses and where the couple resides. In some states, for instance, same-sex couples are banned from adopting children. A number of other states require couples to be married and many of these states do not allow gay marriage.
In time, it may become easier for same-sex couples to adopt, especially as public opinion begins to favor these issues. According to a recent poll, 54 percent of the public favor or strongly favor allowing same-sex couples to adopt while 40 percent oppose it. The rest remain undecided. The small margin continues to make this a very contentious issue.
Despite popular opinion, if a same-sex couple does decide to have a child of their own, it is important that they begin to think about the future even if it is unpleasant. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples sometimes decide to break up. When this happens serious disputes can develop regarding custody and support. Sitting down with an attorney ahead of time and developing a plan can be a major benefit for everyone, including the child.
Source: CBS News, "Same-sex couples raising children on the rise," Elaine Quijano, June 16, 2012