The number of gay and lesbian couples
adopting children over the past decade has nearly tripled.
Angeles Times is reporting that about 21,740 gay couples
adopted in 2009, up from 6,477 in 2000, and 32,571 adopted children
were living with gay couples in 2009, up from 8,310 in 2000. The
figures come from an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Williams
Institute at UCLA School of Law.
“It's a stratospheric increase. It's
like going from zero to 60,” Miami attorney Elizabeth Schwartz, who
has coordinated adoptions for gay families, told the paper. “I
think many really dreamed of doing this but it wasn't something they
ever thought would become a reality.”
Adoption by gay couples flourished in
the last decade despite laws in many states which either prohibit or
attempt to discourage such adoptions.
But last year, an appeals court found
Florida's outright ban on gay couples adopting to be
unconstitutional. The state decided not to appeal.
While Florida's law was seen as the
harshest, social conservatives in states where gay marriage is
prohibited have pushed for laws limiting adoption to married couples,
arguing that children need a mom and a dad.
Such tactics, however, are also
failing. Earlier this year, the Arkansas Supreme Court overturned
such a law, put in place by voters in 2008.
States with the highest number of such
adoptions are Massachusetts, California, New York and Texas.
gay men raising 12 children in Arizona.)