Marc E. Elovitz


In the past twenty years, openly lesbian and gay people have joined in the evolving national dialogue, within the law and elsewhere, about adoption. This Article considers the adoption dialogue, addressing in particular the facts and beliefs that sometimes form (both by informing and misinforming) the dialogue. Part I of this Article describes the ways in which lesbian and gay people confront adoption's legal structures. Part II discusses the findings of social science research on parenting by lesbian and gay people. Part III reviews and analyzes some of the responses to this research. The Conclusion considers the nature of the discussions regarding the research and suggests a mode of reconstruction. I. The Legal Structures of Adoption The legal process of adoption intersects with the lives of lesbian and gay people in a variety of ways. The most common are (1) second parent adoptions in which a lesbian or gay person adopts the child of a partner, and (2) traditional adoptions, in which a lesbian or gay person adopts a foster child or a child whom the adoptive parent has previously not cared for. 1 The traditional form of adoption extinguishes the parental rights and obligations of the biological or legal parent so that the adoptive parent becomes the sole parent. Second parent adoption, however, leaves the parental rights of one legally recognized parent intact and creates a second legally recognized parent for the child. These adoptions have become fairly routine among children of heterosexual step-parents, though typically pursuant to ...

Included in

Law Commons