Top Ten Tips for Finding a Gay or Lesbian Friendly Adoption Agency or Adoption Attorney
Network with other gay adoptive parents in person or online and ask what agency or attorney they used. A great place to find LGBTQ-headed families is through the Family Equality Council, which has a state-by-state list of family support groups. Many of these families have been formed by adoption and they will be one of your best sources for referrals and support.
The Human Rights Campaign lists agencies that have fulfilled all the requirements of their All Children – All Families initiative. These requirements specify specific actions an agency must take to be considered totally open to gay prospective adoptive families.
Look over the agency website. Ideally they will state on their website that they are open to working with same sex couples or LGBT singles. But if not, at the least you would like to see pictures of same sex couples with their children and inclusive language.
Ask agencies to send you information in the mail. Check out their printed material for inclusive language and pictures.
In your first conversation with any prospective agency or attorney tell them you are gay and judge their reaction.
Ask to see the application and other agency forms you will have to fill out. Do they use inclusive language, such as "partner" instead of "spouse" or "parent 1" and "parent 2" rather than "mother" and "father".
Ask agency if they have placed children with families that look like yours. (Gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, transracial, single, etc.) Specially ask how many of these adoption they have completed in the last year, the last two years. How long was the average wait for families like yours that were looking for the type of child that you are hoping to adopt (age, gender, race, and prenatal risk factors that you think are best for your family).
Ask for references from other gay families with whom they have successfully placed children.
Ask if they require gay applicant to jump through any additional hoops. Note that many agencies have additional requirements for single applicants, such as requiring you to select a guardian who would be willing to raise your child in case you died prematurely. I view most of these requirements as reasonable and in the best interest of the child.
Trust your gut. Most members of the GLBT community have well honed skills at detecting prejudice-spoken and unspoken. Do you feel comfortable with the people you have met? It may not be possible at the very beginning, but it never hurts to ask to meet the person who will be your primary agency contact and the social worker that will be conducting your home study.