This chapter examines gay adoption rights. Gays and lesbians have parented children resulting from heterosexual marriages for years. What is new over the past two decades is that gays have adopted as couples, and courts and adoption agencies have viewed them increasingly as suitable parents. Many of the children whom same-sex couples adopt have been in the foster care system, were given up for adoption by their biological mothers, or have serious problems that make them difficult to place in permanent homes. But same sex-couples are not just adopting the unwanted offspring of people who are strangers to them. Artificial insemination and surrogate motherhood make it possible for gay and lesbian couples to have children who are biologically related to one of the partners. The partner who is not biologically related to the child can petition the court for a “second parent” adoption that is granted in an increasing number of jurisdictions.
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