Essay Sample on Same-Sex Adoption in New York Compared to Other States

Published: 2023-03-16
Essay Sample on Same-Sex Adoption in New York Compared to Other States
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Sexes Family Relationship Social issue
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1773 words
15 min read

American society currently features same-sex couples who intend to create a family and actively contribute to the country's socio-economic development. However, some states have similar regulations on the adoption process but with minimal differences. In New York, heterosexuals, single people, and same-sex couples have equal chances to start a family that features children, thanks to the lenient regulations. Whether an individual wants to own a child through mutual consent with a partner, assisted reproduction, adoption through international or domestic policies, the law allows the New York citizens to make their preferences. Various organizations in the state protect LGBT community and have experience in addressing matters on the issues affecting same-sex couples (Park, Kazyak, and Slauson-Ble 120). The process of obtaining legal recognition of parental relationships with children takes comprehensive but straightforward steps to enhance and guarantee the safety of the children involved.

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Laws on same-sex marriages and child adoption in the US differ from state to state. Citizens have to know the legal processes involved. Different licensed agencies in various states exist with the sole mission of guaranteeing better and advanced service delivery through legal consultations. Even so, a child must be adopted only to couples who have exhibited some stability and capacity to manage a child. The state requirements demand the services of a lawyer for same-sex couples to implement adoption procedures. Some of the necessary steps include background screening to eliminate possible child trafficking issues and to file the required documents to formulate the process. Moreover, the birth parents must give consent to the process as well as terminating their legal responsibility to care for the child involved.

These steps are mainly meant to enhance accountability and for the government to document all adoption records and make necessary follow-ups for ensuring the safety of the adopted children. Since 2015, same-sex marriages have also been legal in other states like in Texas. However, the state has stipulated some necessary regulations that LGBT couples must meet. Some of them include background checks similar to those for New York, complete application forms, and the provision of both relative and nonrelative persons as references. Even so, New York has been the center for defending minority rights, including those of LGBT. As such, by 2011, same-sex marriages had already been allowed as compared to most states in the country. However, cases of surrogacy are not permitted in the state as it poses significant security issues in the country. Written law dominates New York in terms of enacting policies to regulate the adoption process. However, in Texas, the situation is different.

The residents work under common law, which must be obeyed during the adoption process. For instance, if a partner under same-sex marriage had a child before their union, the other party must follow the legal adoption process. The strategy enables both partners to have an equal share, care for the child, and be answerable as legal parents in case the child is mistreated or denied fundamental child rights and freedoms. Among the recent cases of same-sex adoption in New York involves an evangelical adoption agency. The government does not fund the agency. The dispute concerned whether the agency can refuse to place children into same-sex couple adoption requirements as provided for under the state's anti-discriminatory laws. Several welfare organizations forced the agency to accept gay applicants to place child adoption requests and after its failure to comply with the anti-discriminatory adoption laws, the warnings turned to litigation. The agency, New Hope, emphasized that as a religious institution, it does not allow same-sex marriages and thus the need to defy the LGBT adoption guidelines (Gershman). New Hope used the First Amendment as the defensive mechanism for its resistance, an issue that ultimately set a legal precedent. Currently, eight states have implemented anti-discriminatory adoption laws including New York.

The court's system in New York allows gay adoptions among foster care and agencies under government funding or contract. The case of New Hope that involved an adoption agency without government funding took a twist due to the agency's protection under the First Amendment. The anti-discriminatory law on same-sex marriages remains a challenge across the US due to stringent religious beliefs and practices. As such, some adoption agencies have a severe problem in determining the best strategy to use in bridging the gap between religious ideologies and anti-discriminatory laws.

However, child adoption regulations in Texas have specific restrictions as pertains to adoption procedures. A couple, Courtney Graham and Chantelle through Vitro Fertilization (IVF) in which Courtney's fertilized egg was placed on Chantelle, who carried the pregnancy to term. However, the parental rights for Courtney were not expressly guaranteed (Martinez). Same-sex couples in Texas have to attain stringent restrictions for them to achieve the legal requirements for child adoption. Still, the couple had to focus on following the set legal procedures for child adoption. As such, Texas, unlike New York, is in the progress of the transition to enhance accountability and transparency in the legal adoption process. Even if the two cases manifest different issues pertaining to child adoption guidelines, New York's regulations seem flexible as compared to those in Texas.

In California, same-sex marriages became legal in 2008, enabling same-sex couples to have stepchild and joint adoption. Moreover, artificial insemination for lesbian couples became legal in 1976, meaning that the state has made tremendous strides towards enhancing a free and just society. Unlike New York, surrogacy, either commercial or altruistic, became legal in 1990 and more bills were enacted into law in 2012 (Park, Kazyak, and Slauson-Ble 123). Before 2019, the Californian laws on parentage could not allow parents' names to appear on the birth certificates irrespective of whether they had already married or in a domestic partnership. Once such bill was corrected, same-sex couples in California had a chance of fully owning children and having their names written in the children's birth certificates as legal parents.

Even if New York is socially liberal, strict regulations pertaining to the adoption process entail the need to seek services of agencies and organizations that protects children's rights and freedoms. In Massachusetts, the initial steps towards the adoption process involved considering the same-sex couples as foster parents instead of having full custody and control of the adopted children as their legal parents (Park, Kazyak, and Slauson-Ble 130). The state stood firm on the issue of parenting and child adoption with the primary intention to enhance equality and accountability. The main goal for the need to make changes was to avoid discrimination against same-sex couples in terms of child adoption and care. In case of a divorce or separation, the pair could then have legal rights to visit the children, as is the case with heterosexuals.

However, after the legalization of same-sex marriages, the Massachusetts governor in 2004 singed an act allowing for the amendment of parental names to include more than one father or mother depending on the sex of the couple. Even so, religious groups such as the Catholic Church in 2006 stood firm on the issue of same-sex marriages, particularly homosexuals, by pointing out that it could not allow the adoption process for same-sex couples (Duncan 2). This issue became controversial and against discriminatory regulations for homosexuals and the general LGBT population. Even so, by 2011, the Commissioner of Health in Massachusetts made plans to include columns for father/parent and mother/parent to allow for the inclusion of same-sex details. All these initiatives have a primary mission of ensuring that the state has proven procedures for same-sex child adoption.

In 2004, Massachusetts became the first-ever state in the US to legalize same-sex marriages and set a precedent for other states to follow. California followed in 2008, Iowa in 2009, Washington DC in 2010, and New York in 2011. These measures meant that there could exist some variations in the implementation process, given that the regulations and amendments have to fit the needs and expectations of the society in which the adoption laws apply. For instance, states under New England were the initial in the implementation of same-sex marriages as they pushed for the recognition of same-sex couples and, thus, their ability to legally adopt children. As such, the significant advancement towards the legalization of same-sex child adoption started with the legalization of same-sex marriages (Duncan 4). Given that New England and its neighboring states began implementing the policy, it is likely that the US will eventually have a substantial impact on marriage and relationships across the world.

Significant similarities, however, exist among states under the New England territory given that the residents in such regions have similar traditions. For instance, states such as Connecticut, Maine, and Rhodes Island and their neighboring states such as New Jersey, Maryland, and New York have a rich history of advancing same-sex marriages across the US. The region features the highest rate of support services for the societal changes that force the government to change its law and accommodate them (Hagai and Crosby 477). That is why Massachusetts became the initial state to enact the anti-discriminatory policy against same-sex marriages by approving it. As such, across this region, there exist little or no differences in child adoption procedures for same-sex couples.

New York, just like other states in and around the New England region, poses maximum changes to the rights and freedoms for LGBTs and same-sex marriages. The region is considered to embrace a higher rate of diversity and inclusivity as it is consistently the leader in the enactment of policy changes affecting the US. As the center for the promulgation of new policies and regulations, more states are likely to use New York's template in policy formulation to ensure that they have strictly followed the anti-discriminatory laws against same-sex marriages and child adoption regulations. Even so, there exist some differences in terms of surrogacy restrictions between New York and some states. In addition, if it is not allowed in the state, California has enacted procedures for such practices. The limitation highlights some of the minor changes in policy administration and the need to remain determined in trying to understand the applicable laws on same-sex child adoption across the US states.

Works Cited

Duncan, Melanie L. "Adoption, GLBT." Encyclopedia of Family Studies (2016): 1-6.

Gershman, Jacob. "Clash Over Same-Sex Adoption Heads to Court." WSJ, 21 Dec. 2018, Accessed 12 Dec. 2019.

Hagai, Ella Ben, and Faye J. Crosby. "Between relative deprivation and entitlement: An historical analysis of the battle for same-sex marriage in the United States." Handbook of social justice theory and research. Springer, New York, NY, 2016. 477-489.

Martinez, Natalie. "Pflugerville Same-Sex Couple Fights for Their Parental Rights." FOX 7 Austin, 27 Sept. 2019, Accessed 12 Dec. 2019.

Park, Nicholas K., Emily Kazyak, and Kathleen Slauson-Blevins. "How law shapes experiences of parenthood for same-sex couples."

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Essay Sample on Same-Sex Adoption in New York Compared to Other States. (2023, Mar 16). Retrieved from

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