Adoption by LGBT Adults

MARE welcomes and supports LGBT prospective parents in the adoption process. Every child needs a stable, loving home, and LGBT singles and couples like you may be the family a child has been waiting for.

Approximately 20% of the placements that MARE helped to facilitate in the past year were with LGBT households.

Below are some frequently asked questions from LGBT parents about the adoption process.

Can LGBT couples and singles both adopt from foster care in Massachusetts?
Yes- We welcome LGBT couples and singles to adopt from foster care.

Can I (and should I) be open about my sexual orientation going into the adoption process?
Yes, you should be honest and open about any personal information which could impact the matching process, including sexual orientation.

Can I adopt if my partner or I identify as transgender or gender queer?
Yes. The Department of Children & Families (DCF) non-discrimination policy includes protection on the basis of gender identity. It is essential to share your experience as a transgender or gender queer individual as part of the adoption application process.

Will heterosexual singles or couples be prioritized over LGBT singles or couples when considering matches for a child?
Sexual orientation and gender identity will be considered in the matching process just as any other demographic information would be considered, such as age and race. All matches are made with the best interests of the child as the priority.

Will I have access to the same pool of waiting children as heterosexual adoptive parents? Yes.

Are there LGBTQ youth waiting for adoption?
Yes, there are some youth who identify as LGBTQ waiting for adoption.

Will waiting children even want a gay parent?
Most waiting children simply want a loving home and are open to all constellations of families.

How does the adoption process (and custody) work if a couple is partnered but not married?

Heterosexual and LGBT couples can co-adopt in Massachusetts whether or not they are married, and both partners will have full legal rights. However, the social worker may explore the reasons the couple has chosen not to marry as part of the homestudy process.

Are there certain agencies that are more open than others to working with LGBT families?
All contracted agencies and DCF area offices should have the resources and training to be able to work effectively with LGBT prospective parents. However, as each office has a different agency culture, we strongly encourage you to speak with staff in different agencies before starting the process to best assess which agency is the best fit for you.

Are there agencies that can offer us supports after placement?
Yes, Adoption Journeys and Adoptive Families Together are two examples of agencies which provide post-adoption support.

MARE's work on behalf of LGBT families:
Bay Windows: "Children Find Homes"

Venter family 2012
Pisano family 2012
Howard-Karp family


Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, Inc. – MARE- 45 Franklin Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 617-54-ADOPT (542-3678) – 1-800-882-1176 – Fax: 617-542-1006

NON DISCRIMINATION POLICY MARE welcomes and serves all constituents without regard to an individual’s actual or perceived race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, physical or mental ability, veteran status, domestic partnership or marital status. This policy also applies to employment practice, internal promotions, training, opportunities for advancement, terminations, outside vendors, service clients, use of contractors and consultants, and dealings with the general public.

MARE is partially funded by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families – DCF Comments or Questions to: web@MAREinc.org – Copyright @ 2011 MARE, Inc. All rights reserved