Is it Harder for Single People or Same Sex Couples to Adopt?
We are well aware that single people can make dynamic, outstanding parents. We know that same-sex couples offer the same love and support as couples who are of the opposite sex — and in Washington, they have the same legal rights. However, some single people and gay and lesbian couples are apprehensive about whether they will face discrimination when they seek to adopt, since they do not present what some view as a "traditional" family.
Washington Adoption Lawyer for Single and LGBT Parents
Unfortunately, nothing in the adoption process can be guaranteed. But if you are single or are a same-sex couple, it is especially important to work with an adoption lawyer who has experience working with families like yours. If you are single and seeking to adopt, Joyce Schwensen will work with a nationwide network of adoption professionals to find adoption situations that may be a good fit for you. And if you are LGBT and seeking to adopt, Joyce Schwensen is very knowledgeable about the unique issues you face, including legal issues that vary from state to state, and the practical issues involved in identifying birth parents who may choose your family as adoptive parents for their child.
Call the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen today at (206) 367-1065 to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation and your desire to adopt. Joyce Schwensen represents single parents and LGBT parents throughout Washington, including Spokane, Vancouver and Tacoma. She is based in Seattle.
No Discrimination in Law Against Single or LGBT People in Washington Adoptions
The only legal requirement in Washington about who can adopt is that the person adopting must be older than 18, and must obtain a homestudy approving them to adopt. There is no requirement that an adopting parent be married. Single people may adopt. Unlike in some states, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are qualified to adopt in Washington, whether they are single or married.
However, there is no law or policy that prevents birth parents from deciding against you as an adoptive parent because you are single parent or you identify as LGBT. Through her extensive nationwide network of adoption professionals, Joyce Schwensen can help locate birth parents who will not discriminate against you in choosing an adoptive family for their child. Finding the right adoption situation can be difficult for any family. But single individuals and GLBT couples face unique challenges, and Joyce Schwensen is experienced helping these families succeed in adding to their families through adoption.
Problems in Other States for Adopting Same-Sex Couple
Washington State is welcoming to gay and lesbian parents. However, other states have less welcome approaches and, in some states, laws that are outright discriminatory. In most states, under current law, your marriage is not recognized if you are married to a person of the same sex.
This can be particularly problematic when the adoption process takes you outside of the state to find your child. Finding a child to adopt is often a nationwide search. However, unlike in Washington State, where a married couple can jointly adopt a child, it can be more complicated in states where your marriage is not recognized.
Some states that do not recognize same-sex marriage will still allow two adults to jointly adopt a child. However, some states do not allow joint adoption. In some states, the laws are ambiguous. It might depend on the specific judge you are before, a situation that creates tremendous uncertainty for GLBT families in adoption.
While we are making progress as a nation, there are still murky waters for GLBT aspiring parents seeking to adopt. As an active member and officer of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification Legal Issues Section of the Washington State Bar, Joyce Schwensen is familiar with these challenges.
Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen | Washington Adoption Attorney for Single People and Same-Sex Couples
If you are a single person or are a married or partnered GLBT couple , you are still able to become a parent through adoption. But because finding the right adoption match may be particularly challenging, it is especially important for you to have a knowledgeable Washington adoption lawyer helping you. Joyce Schwensen advises and represents single and LGBT adoptive parents. Call her today at (206) 367-1065 to set up a consultation.