Marriage equality became the law of the land with the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States on June 26th, 2015. Yet for same-sex married couples, the matter of adoption and foster parenting varies by state even though recent court findings determine that state prohibition of adoption by these couples violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the United States Constitution. The most recent of these outcomes was on March 31st, 2016 in Mississippi, ruled by a U.S. District Court Judge as he struck down the state’s ban on adoption by same-sex couples.

PFLAG National co-chairs with Family Equality Council the National Coalition on the Issue of Foster Care and Adoption, and we advocate diligently to ensure that same-sex married couples and LGBTQ youth are treated without discrimination in the adoption and foster care system that receive federal funding.

While conservative groups have relied on junk science and discredited research as they attempt to undermine adoption by LGBTQ parents, this stands in stark contrast to the positions of many important child welfare organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, American Medical Association, National Association of Social Workers, Child Welfare League of America, and the North American Council on Adoptable Children, which support the right of LGBTQ persons to adopt and/or be a foster parent. 

The Family Equality Council maintains equality maps on the current status of adoption, foster care and parenting laws in all states. However, since the legal landscape is in a constant state of flux, consulting with an attorney who specializes in adoption and family law is always advised.

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