Running head: LGBT ADOPTION 1
New Jersey’s statewide parenting legislation espouses a progressive stance on the matters of same-sex parenting and child care in the processes of adoption and foster parenting. The Garden State allows for same-sex adoption; allows single homosexuals to adopt; and allows second parent same-sex adoption (Lifelong Adoptions, 2013). New Jersey has passed progressive laws and policies that prohibit discrimination charged against LGBT individuals in the adoption process (Lifelong Adoptions, 2013). New Jersey state law also bans discrimination against LGBT individuals in the foster parent process (Lifelong Adoptions, 2013). New Jersey Statutes Annotated 9:3-43 enables for any person to adopt permitted the said person(s) pass a background investigation and meet adoption criteria for eligibility (Onelce, 2012). Unmarried joint adoptive parents petitioning to adopt a child can do so because of N.J.S.A. 9:3-43 (Onelce, 2012). In “Re-adoption of Two Children” by H.N.R., 666 A.2d 535 (Onelce, 2012) addresses second parent adoption; this statute exercises the possibility for an individual to petition for shared rights of custody with a parent who already possesses legal parental custody of a child. Several states prohibit joint adoption due to unmarried status. This statute is favorable for unmarried parents seeking to adopt in New Jersey. This New Jersey statute provides for an overall tolerant atmosphere for LGBT individuals and couples looking to adopt or become foster parents. In summary, laws and policies regarding same-sex adoption vary from state to state. Forms of Adoption
The three common forms of adoptive guardianship are individual (single) parent adoption, joint adoption, and second parent adoption (Adoption, foster care agencies and state law, n.d.). The most traditional type of adoptive parents is the single parent adoption. This is where an unmarried individual adopts a child that has been put up for adoption by the birth parent or by the state. Secondly, joint adoption is when an unmarried couple can petition the court to adopt a child. Lastly, in the case of a second parent adoption, one parent has legal guardianship over a child and a second parent petitions the court to become a legally recognized co-parent (Blanks, Dockwell, & Wallace, n.d.). Bans on LGBT marriage vary state by state, as a consequence, LGBT couples cannot petition for adoption as a married couple but, as single individuals. This creates the opportunity for LGBT couples to become legal parents of foster children since most states prevent unmarried couples from adopting. As a result of state to state differences in the question of LGBT adoptive parents, second-parent adoptions are either permitted or the laws are unclear (Blanks, Dockwell, & Wallace, n.d.). Blanks, Dockwell, & Wallace ( n.d.) argue that ambiguity in court decisions are prevalent regarding LGBT second parent adoption petitions. Blanks, Dockwell, & Wallace (n.d.) assert how a state’s unclear and ambiguous position on second parent adoption places the decision on the judge to rule according to his or her personal beliefs concerning homosexuality rather than the letter of the law. The courts of twenty-one states including Washington, D.C. have granted second-parent adoption availability to several individuals applying to become legal second parents or co-parents of former foster children (Brodzinsky & Pertman, 2012). Mississippi law bars same-sex couples from all possibilities of adoption but, allows the viability for single LGBTs and lesbians to adopt (Brodzinsky & Pertman, 2012). In Utah and New Hampshire, all unmarried couples, regardless of sexual orientation are allowed to adopt (Brodzinsky & Pertman, 2012). The following states allow adoption by openly LGBT and lesbian couples:...
References: Brodzinsky,D. & Pertman, A. (2012) Adoption by lesbians and LGBT men. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.
Hicks, S. (1998) Lesbian and LGBT fostering and adoption. Kingsley Publishers: New York
Legal Issues for LGBT and Lesbian Adoption
Mallon, G.P. (2006) Lesbian and LGBT foster and adoptive parents: Recruiting, assessing, and supporting an untapped resource for children and youth. Child Welfare League of America, Inc.: Chicago.
Rayside, D.M.(2008) Queer inclusions, continental divisions: public recognition of sexual diversity in Canada and the United States. University of Toronto Press: Toronto
Sullivan, A. (1995) Issues in LGBT and lesbian adoption. Child Welfare League of America: Chicago.
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