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How common is same-sex couple adoption in the United States?

Data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010 showed that there were just under 600,000 same-sex couple households that year. At least 115,000 of them reported having children. The number of kids who live with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) parents has increased significantly since then.

A study published in 2007 by the Los Angeles-based Williams Institute captured how that year, approximately 2 million LGBT individuals expressed an interest in adopting. Only 4% of all adopted children were placed with gay or lesbian parents that year though.

Some of the same researchers that worked on the 2007 study came together again in 2013. They sought to gain a better understanding of the predominance of same-sex parenting. That year, they found that 22,000 children had been adopted by 16,000 same-sex couples living across the United States. At least 16,000 of those kids lived with parents in California, the state with the highest number of same-sex parents in the country.

The researchers who worked on the 2013 Williams Institute study also found that the chance that a same-sex couple would be raising an adopted child was four times that of heterosexual couples.

They also found that of those couples who have minor children in the home, only 3% of those residing with different-sex parents were adopted. This compares with 13% of those living with same-sex couples. The median age of heterosexual adoptive parents is 44 compared to 42 for LGBT ones.

The requirements that an individual or couple must meet to adopt a child vary by state. Some require prospective parents to be in a domestic partnership, married or in a civil union to be eligible to adopt. An adoption and guardianship attorney can advise you of your prospects of having a child placed with you here in Riverside.

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