Research-Based Best Practices in Adoption by Gays and Lesbians
Expanding Resources for Children III
Policy and Practice Perspective
David M. Brodzinsky, Ph.D.
Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute
Funded by: The David Bohnett Foundation and the Gill Foundation
To maximize the number of suitable, vetted, trained and available families for the children who
need them, all adults – regardless of gender, race, marital status, income level and/or sexual
orientation – should be given the same opportunity to apply and be assessed for adoptive
parenthood, using the same standards and guidelines. While the majority of adoption
professionals today explicitly agree with that conclusion and already accept applications from
gay and lesbian applicants, many if not most acknowledge that they are unsure about the best
ways of working with such clients.
In keeping with its strategic priority to conduct work that improves children’s prospects of living in safe and successful families, the Adoption Institute has conducted a four-year-long research project that culminates in the publication of this report. It reviews what is known about adoption by lesbians and gay men and presents new empirical data about their perceptions, experiences and needs as parents. Based on this knowledge, the Institute provides best-practice recommendations for improving adoption practice and for strengthening pre-adoption and post- adoption services for families headed by non-heterosexual adults.