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Hoping to adopt as an LGBTQ parent? It's possible in Michigan

You have always wanted to be a parent, but as someone who identifies as gay, you knew that would be trickier than for heterosexual couples. Over the years, you've looked into adoption, but for quite a long time, it wasn't possible for you to adopt without intense scrutiny. Today, it's much easier to adopt regardless of whether you're in a same-sex couple or intend to adopt as an individual.

Michigan does not have a ban on same-sex couples or individuals adopting. You are protected against discrimination based on your gender identity, sexual orientation or same-sex marriage. Additionally, if your husband or wife has a child you wish to adopt, you may be able to petition to adopt them yourself.

Many adoption agencies, as well as the state, want to make sure that those who adopt are prepared for doing so. Sexual orientation doesn't play a role in that. Instead, they ask questions such as:

  • Have you completed a home study?
  • Have you received education on adoption?
  • Do you have an adoption plan?
  • Are you mentally or physically prepared for an adoption?
  • What kind of an adoption would you like to participate in?

All of these questions are important for you to answer. You need to know what to expect as you move forward.

Are there agencies that can refuse to allow an LGBTQ person to adopt?

Some faith-based adoption agencies were awarded the right to refuse LGBTQ adopters in 2019, but that doesn't mean you won't be able to adopt at all. There are many welcoming adoption agencies, including the state agencies and private agencies. It's a good idea for you to do some research online to find agencies that have worked with the LGBTQ community and are open to parents with a nontraditional household.

Can disclosing my LGBTQ status impact the ability to adopt?

It is usually best to be honest in these circumstances. Disclosing that you are part of the LGBTQ community should not disqualify you in the majority of situations. It's important that you provide honest information about yourself to the agency, so that any child who is placed with you is placed after the agency sees a full picture of who you are and the factors that may influence your child as they grow. Withholding information could also result in being unable to move forward with the adoption.

Adoption is an excellent way to grow your family. As someone in a nontraditional household, you deserve an opportunity to grow your family, too.

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