Transracial Adoption by Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Couples

By Rachel Farr, Charlotte Patterson
August 2009

Who completes transracial adoptions and with what results? This study explored pathways to and outcomes of transracial adoption among 106 families headed by lesbian (n = 27), gay (n = 29), and heterosexual (n = 50) couples. Transracial adoptions occurred more often among lesbian and gay than among heterosexual couples, and they occurred more often among interracial than among same-race couples. Lesbian and gay couples were more likely than heterosexual couples to be interracial. Transracial adoptions were also more common among those who gave child-centered reasons as compared to adult-centered reasons for adoption. There were, however, no differences in adjustment between transracial and inracial adoptive families. Implications for child welfare agencies and for legal and policy debates are discussed.

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