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ERIC Number: EJ792420
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr-1
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0363-0277
Collection Development "Gay Parenting": Building Rainbow Families
Maxwell, Lynne
Library Journal, v133 n6 p54-57 Apr 2008
While gay parenthood has existed from time immemorial, it has only emerged as a viable means of family building within the past 20 years. Celebrities like Melissa Etheridge, who had children with ex-partner Julie Cypher and sperm donor David Crosby, and Rosie O'Donnell, who adopted, have ushered gay parenting into the popular consciousness and helped it earn relative acceptance. Nonetheless, no amount of exposure in "People" magazine can eliminate the significant legal hurdles facing gay men and lesbians looking to have families. That is the long way of saying that gay adoption--probably the most popular method of family building among gay men and an increasingly popular choice for lesbians--is not explicitly legal in the 50 states. Only about a dozen states permit single gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered (GLBT) adoption and joint adoption, defined as unmarried couple's petitioning the court to adopt a child who has been put up for adoption by the birth parent(s) or by the state. Most states do allow single GLBT adoptions, but have not taken a formal stand on joint adoptions, a situation that makes it hard for gay couples to share legal rights regarding their children. (Florida, for the record, is the only state that has outlawed gay adoption, period.) Where joint GLBT adoptions are illegal, gay couples in which one party already has legal rights of a child seek second-parent adoption. With so much red tape on the home front, numerous gay couples resort to international adoption, which can be faster. Still, the future parents in question must remain closeted throughout the entire process because no country will knowingly place a child in a gay household. In other words, only single-parent adoption is available; the other person can file for second-parent adoption after the child is safely in America. Foster parenting also offers gay couples a chance at parenthood, but the state retains legal guardianship. In this article, the author gives a little sociological background on gay parenting and includes a bibliography on the subject.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reference Materials - Bibliographies; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A