There are 3 types of adoption agencies you will encounter generally in your web research: one type that will not adopt at all to LGBT couples, another that will do the adoption but is not overtly and publicly “LGBT friendly”, and the third type that is loud and proud about the privilege of facilitating LGBT adoptions. Destiny Adoption is firmly and unashamedly in the 3rd category. Here is how you find an agency that will celebrate your journey to create family:
DO THE RESEARCH AND FIND AN AGENCY YOU LOVE
Most people start their search on the web and although it is important to read the mission statement and get a feel for the agency based on their website, language, graphics, etc… you will find that it is very easy to be ambiguous and lack clarity and definition on a standard website. You must take your research beyond just the web presence of an agency to really get a pulse on the overall culture of the agency at large.
We recommend paying very close attention to the adoption agency’s social media on Instagram, Facebook, etc… This will begin to shed light on what the agency wants the community as a whole to know about them. Pay attention to whether or not they are addressing in real time the challenges facing society and the marginalized. Look closely for whether they are being clear or trying to play both sides of important social issues.
We recommend to be even more thorough by actually seeing who they follow and who follows them. Usually that gives you a great idea of the types of organizations and people they attract and are attracted to.
At Destiny Adoption, we recently had an adoptive family use our social media and blog posts linked to social media to educate their extended family about gay, church, adoption, and the fight for equality and justice. That to us was the most incredible compliment.
WHAT QUESTIONS SPECIFIC TO LGBT ADOPTIONS DO I ASK AN AGENCY?
1. Question: Is there birthmom care during and after birth and placement?
Why ask?: An agency that is looking to support a birthmom’s voice, health and overall well being even after a placement is usually an agency that has a heart for the marginalized and voiceless. This is a great indicator to check the “compassion” meter of an agency and adoption team. When you ask this question, ask for details including what kind of support, is it included and free to the birthmom, how long do you provide it, what are the names of the support groups, do you have an online and in person option, etc..
Destiny has an entire department of our non profit dedicated to birthmom care and advocacy during and post placement including a birth parent support group, #Birthmomstrong and a Facebook group, Full Hearts. We even have a Birth Mom Boss and yes we are bragging because that is pretty damn cool.
2. Question: How many successful LGBT (same sex couples) placements have you done?
Why ask? An agency’s percentage of placements to LGBT couples or single prospective LGBT parents, will indicate if they are presenting you to birthmom’s on an equal level with traditional adoptive couples. You don’t want to put all your eggs in the basket of an agency that will do the adoption but prefers to direct birthmoms to more traditional options. You don’t want to be a last resort or an option that has to be specifically demanded by the birthmom. Agencies may be tentative to answer that question directly but if they are then you probably have all the info you need at that point.
Destiny believes that when a birthmom is placing her child for adoption that she deserves all available options presented equally and without prejudice. Every adoptive family at Destiny is given the same opportunity to match based on their criteria and the birthmom’s wishes and never based on sexual orientation, race, gender, etc…
3. Question: Will you assign a specific adoptive family advocate to us and do they have experience in successful LGBT placements?
Why ask? This question is so important because in most scenarios a team of people handle your advocacy and placement. You need to have an advocate that you have relationship with and has experience navigating the journey with an LGBT adoption. Whether it be the ignorance of a social worker or nurse in a hospital or the difficult questions of families on both sides, this can’t be the advocates first rainbow rodeo. You have to be comfortable and LOVE who you are working with and you must feel LOVED too.
Destiny believes that just as important as it is for our birthmoms to have a voice and be heard in the process, it is also integral to a successful placement for the adoptive family to really be heard and championed. After all, they are creating family and family is one of the most challenging yet rewarding journeys you could ever go on.
I FOUND AN ADOPTION AGENCY AND ADVOCATE I LOVE…NOW WHAT?
As you can see, not all adoption agencies who are willing to do LGBT adoptions are actually “LGBT friendly”. Here is how you can started on the incredible adventure of seeing your dreams become reality:
Call us today at our Tennessee Office or Florida Office to have all your tough questions answered and to interview an advocate. We can start the process of getting you a home study, figuring out the type of adoption(s) you are interested in (foster, etc..), answering your questions and getting you on our waiting list.