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Questions about LGBT Adoption Laws

The term LGBT is intended to emphasize a diversity of "sexuality and gender identity-based cultures" and is sometimes used to refer to anyone who is non-heterosexual. LGBT adoption is the adoption of children by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons. Below are answers provided by Experts to some of the most common LGBT adoption questions.

Is LGBT adoption legal in Florida?

Adoption by same-sex couples is legal in Florida. However, since there is no law that expressly allows LGBT, the law can be murky and the courts tend to take it one case at a time. While you can petition for LGBT adoption, the final decision of the court can be unpredictable. The issue of LGBT adoption is still being debated in Florida and many other states.

What are the LGBT laws on adoption in Texas?

According to the Texas Statutes, any adult person, single or married may petition to adopt a child who is eligible for adoption. There are no specific prohibitions against single LGBT persons or same-sex couples petitioning to adopt. Married couples must petition jointly, however, as Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages, in most cases, same-sex couples would have to petition jointly to adopt or as single persons.

Is there a legal surrogacy contract for LGBT to use for adoptions in Florida?

Florida, although it allows surrogacy agreements, does so only when the intended parents are a married couple. Usually surrogacy is not permitted for single persons or gay (or otherwise unmarried) couples. Since many states differ on LGBT adoption laws, there could be questions concerning laws around same sex adoptions.

Does Minnesota permit single LGBT adoptions or second parent adoptions?

Minnesota does permit single LGBT adoptions. However joint gay adoptions are unclear at this time. Second-parent adoptions may be allowed in some areas. Most LGBT adoptions are treated by the courts on a case by case basis.

If a gay male has adopted children, can their life partner be made as a guardian or become a second adoptive parent in Kansas?

At this point, the law in Kansas is silent on joint gay adoption. It has definitely been talked about but no laws have been passed to allow LGBT adoptions under the Kansas law. One choice that you may have is to prepare a will naming the other person as a guardian in the event that you die, to ensure that the children are taken care of.

Adoption of children by LGBT couples is an issue of active debate. The rights of LGBT parents vary widely among states in USA. About half the states permit second-parent adoptions by the unmarried partner of an existing legal parent, while a handful of states courts have ruled these adoptions not permissible under state laws. This leaves parents in many states legally unrecognized or severely disadvantaged in court fights with ex-spouses, ex-partners or other relatives. It also leads to uncertainty about legal status, rights and provisions of the law.
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