“But we did not find sexual orientation to be a significant predictor of behavioral problems,” Nalavany said. Ryan said what makes the study special is the comparative nature between gay and lesbian couples, and heterosexual couples. He said the study also had a “robust sample size.” As of 2007, there were approximately 130,000 children in the child welfare system waiting to be adopted. Yet Congress noted that there were “serious shortages” of qualified adoptive parents (Library of Congress, 2007). The American Civil Liberties Union has stated that many gay and lesbian families are interested and willing to adopt children and are often open to adopting the harder to place children such as those that are older. Yet, policies of adoption agencies, social stigma, and state laws have created barriers to adoption for gay and lesbian couples. Ryan said Florida has the only adoption system in the country that asks a couple whether they’re gay. He said what makes Florida even stranger is that gay and lesbian couples can be foster parents there. “There are implications for social work educators, adoption professionals, and policy makers in this and other recent studies. We must pay attention to the data indicating that gay and lesbian parents are as fit as heterosexual parents to adopt, because at least 130,000 children are depending on us to act as informed advocates on their behalf,” said Averett.
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Contact: Paige Averett and Blace Nalavany, ECU School of Social Work
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com or (252) 328-4193; 737-2053
Peggy Nototny, College of Human Ecology
| (252) 328-2882