A new study shows that the number of same-sex individuals and couples who adopted children tripled over the past decade, in part because of eased state restrictions and more foster care adoptions.
The Associated Press reports on the "stratospheric increase" in adoptions shown in a four-year study of 158 gay parents released Thursday by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. The report found the highest number of gay people adopted children from Massachusetts, California, New York, and Texas.
Recently, Florida stopped enforcing its strict ban on adoptions by gay people, and the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down a voter-approved measure to bar same-sex and unmarried cohabitating couples from adopting.
"In the past, adoption was often an option only for wealthy gay families who could afford to adopt internationally or to pay a surrogate," reports the AP. "Allowing gay couples to adopt from foster care, where healthcare and college is paid for, opens it up to more people, experts said. The study estimates about 50% of adoptive gay families adopt children from foster care."
Not all adoption and foster care agencies will serve gay parents, where Catholic Charities notably refused to follow the new civil unions law in Illinois this year. About 60% of U.S. adoption agencies welcome applications from gay parents, according to the Adoption Institute.
According to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, almost 22,000 same-sex couples adopted children in 2009, compared to around 6,500 in 2000, based on Census Bureau estimates.