State or public agency adoption means adopting a child who is in foster care from the public child welfare system. The U.S. is currently facing a critical shortage of adoptive parents for Foster Children and children with disabilities, and gay and lesbian adoptions have been helping to fill this gap. Adopting a child in the Foster Care system often means adopting an older child (3+), a child with disabilities or health problems, or a history of abuse and neglect. However, such an adoption can be extremely rewarding. An estimated 14,100 foster children are living with lesbian or gay parents within the United States, and gay and lesbian foster parents are raising approximately 3% of the Nation’s foster children.** GLBT parents looking to adopt from the Foster Care System have been challenged in certain cases in certain states, although in general, most State Welfare systems now recognize that sexual orientation of parents makes no difference towards a child’s wellbeing, and welcome any parent who is willing to give a child a much-needed loving home.***
** Adoption and Foster Care by Lesbian and Gay Parents in the United StatesAuthor(s): Gary Gates, Lee M.V. Badgett, Jennifer Ehrle Macomber, Kate Chambers of the Urban Institute.