Adoption by Lesbians and Gay Men: A New Dimension in Family Diversity

Overview

The practice of adoption has changed dramatically over the past half century, with profound implications for children and families. Perhaps the most remarkable and controversial transformation during this time has been the growing willingness of adoption professionals to place children with sexual-minority individuals and couples. Yet, despite considerable research showing that lesbians and gay men can make good parents, they continue to experience difficulties and barriers in many parts of the country in their ...

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Overview

The practice of adoption has changed dramatically over the past half century, with profound implications for children and families. Perhaps the most remarkable and controversial transformation during this time has been the growing willingness of adoption professionals to place children with sexual-minority individuals and couples. Yet, despite considerable research showing that lesbians and gay men can make good parents, they continue to experience difficulties and barriers in many parts of the country in their efforts to adopt and raise children. Indeed, while progress in this area has been significant, it has been impeded by the homophobia and heterosexist attitudes of adoption professionals and the judiciary; by numerous stereotypes and misconceptions about parenting by lesbians and gay men, and by a lack of adequate guidelines and training for establishing best practice standards in working with this rapidly growing group of adoptive parents.

Adoption by Lesbians and Gay Men explores the gamut of historical, legal, sociological, psychological, social casework, and personal issues related to adoption by sexual-minority individuals and couples. Leading experts in a variety of fields address—and often shatter—the controversies, myths, and misconceptions hindering efforts by these individuals to adopt and raise children. What makes this book all the more valuable is that it provides insights and specific recommendations for establishing empirically validated best practices for working with an important sector of our society, for treating all prospective and current parents fairly and equally, and, perhaps most importantly, for increasing a still largely untapped resource for providing families for children who need them.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...this serious, confident, and rigorous book discusses lesbian and gay adoption just as its precursors discussed adoption by heterosexual parents, and leaves the reader wondering, 'Why all the fuss'... The authors are all experts in their different fields and, together, have created a state-of-the-art collection of chapters ranging from historical and legal aspects, to social and psychological considerations, to practice issues including the assessment of prospective adopters and postadoption support. Everything you might want to know about lesbian and gay adoption, and which it is possible to know at the present time, is to be found in this important book." —from the Foreword by Susan Golombok, PhD, Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge

"This text, with its emphasis on research, is quite appropriate as an academic and professional resource. Intriguingly, it also generally presents as understandable to a broader public audience. This volume is unique, in terms of its depth, and comprehensive, and it will serve as an essential tool for those persons interested in the topic of adoption by lesbians and gay men." —Stephen "Arch" Erich, PhD, Associate Professor of Social Work, University of Houston-Clear Lake

"This timely, informative, and authoritative book appears at a very important time, one in which it is increasingly recognized that adoption by gay men and lesbian women can provide supportive and much-needed care for the many children who cannot be cared for adequately by their birth parents. Many agencies will want to have copies in their professional libraries, as will professionals (psychologists, social workers, lawyers, judges) who make decisions about or support adopted and fostered children. There is no other book that covers this material, so it fills an important niche." —Michael E. Lamb, PhD, Head of the Department of Social and Developmental Psychology, University of Cambridge

"This volume summarizes our knowledge of lesbian and gay adoptive families, contributes to it, and points out directions for future research, education, and policy changes. It is an academic book...but should become an invaluable reference for adoption professionals, researchers, policy makers, advocates, and lawyers. Lesbian and gay adoptive parents and prospective parents may also want to read it." — Dana Rudolph, Bay Windows

"This informative, authoritative collection of 11 essays by leading experts challenges the myth that lesbians and gay men are unfit to adopt and provides adoption professionals with best-practice standards... This superbly successful collection shatters the misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding adoption by lesbians and gay men and should be widely disseminated among legislators, social workers, lawyers, judges, and the general public. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries." — E. W. Carp, Pacific Lutheran University, CHOICE

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195322606
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/25/2011
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Brodzinsky, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Clinical and Development Psychology at Rutgers University and Research Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.

Adam Pertman is Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Susan Golombok

1. American Adoption: A Brief History
Cynthia Russett

2. Emerging Diversity in Family Life: Adoption by Gay and Lesbian Parents
Adam Pertman and Jeanne Howard

3. Legal Issues in Gay and Lesbian Adoption
Annette R. Appell

4. Adoption by Lesbians and Gay Men: A National Survey of Adoption Agency Policies and Practices
David M. Brodzinsky

5. Adolescents With Same-Sex Parents: Findings From the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health
Charlotte J. Patterson and Jennifer L. Wainright

6. Planned Lesbian Families: A Review of the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study
Nanette Gartrell, Heidi Peyser, and Henny Bos

7. Lesbian and Gay Prospective Foster and Adoptive Families: The Homestudy Assessment Process
Gerald P. Mallon

8. Supporting Gay and Lesbian Adoptive Families Before and After Adoption
Devon Brooks, Hansung Kim, and Leslie H. Wind

9. Gay and Lesbian Adoptive Parents: Stressors and Strengths
Scott Ryan and Suzanne Brown

10. Lesbian and Gay Adoptive Parent Families: Assessment, Clinical Issues, and Intervention
Abbie E. Goldberg and Mark Gianino

11. Adoption by Lesbians and Gay Men: What We Know, Need to Know, and Ought to Do
David M. Brodzinsky, Robert-Jay Green, and Katie Katuzny

Index

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