June is Pride Month, and it is the perfect time to celebrate the progression of LGBTQ rights, which gives all kinds of families a beautiful way to expand through adoption. Historically, the government and many groups of people were not kind to LGBTQ people. Therefore, most of the changes that led to the right to adopt came within the past 50 years.
Throughout the past century, LGBTQ people and their allies fought for the most basic rights. For a long time, doctors considered homosexuality to be a disorder. It wasn’t until the late 1970’s that the LGBTQ community gained some political victories. In 1977, the New York Supreme Court ruled that a transgender woman could play, as a woman, in the United States Open tennis tournament. In 1978, California’s first openly gay man was elected as San Francisco’s city supervisor. Gilbert Baker designed the first rainbow flag in 1978 as well.
The outbreak of AIDS defined the struggle for gay rights throughout the ’80s and ’90s. In 1992, the topic of gay marriage populated many courtrooms. Anti-hate-crime laws passed before courts could decide if banning gay marriage was constitutional. The Matthew Shepard Act passed in 2009, which protected LGBTQ people from hate crimes. Finally, in 2015, through Obergefell vs. Hodges, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriage. Legalizing same-sex marriage was a huge milestone for those wishing to adopt, as several agencies require a couple to be married in order to adopt.
Despite marriage being legal, some states still banned LGBTQ adoptions. In 2016 a federal judge in Mississippi removed a law prohibiting same-sex couples from adopting, setting a precedent nationwide. Today, most agencies allow and encourage LGBTQ families to consider adopting. Despite all the changes and policy improvements, faith-based organizations can discriminate against the LGBTQ community due to religious freedom bills.
At Adoptions From The Heart, our goal is the match children with loving families. Every family looks different, but the love each parent, adoptive and birth, carries for their child is the same. Love is love no matter how it comes, what it looks like, or who it’s with. Happy Pride Month!