Adoption equality is not a sure thing

By Gary Gates
July 7, 2015
Context Magazine

In his majority opinion ruling that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that, “As all parties agree, many same-sex couples provide loving and nurturing homes to their children, whether biological or adopted.” Agreement across all parties in the marriage litigation that same-sex couples offer suitable homes for children mirrors both scholarly and public opinion. In its friend-of-the-court brief submitted in the marriage cases, the American Sociological Association stated that, “The clear and consistent social science consensus is that children raised by same-sex parents fare just as well as children of different-sex parents.” Gallup pollingsuggests that 63% of Americans believe that same-sex couples should have the legal right to adopt, up from just 28% two decades ago.

Does ensuring that same-sex couples have equal access to marriage mean that they’ll also have equal access to adoption? Perhaps not. Despite marriage equality, and maybe even because of it, some states may implement policies that allow state-licensed adoption and foster agencies to refuse to serve same-sex couples if doing so violates sincerely held religious beliefs.

For the full op-ed, click here.