Adoptions spiked among gay couples in past decade

October 23, 2011 - 3:25 PM

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Studies show the number of gays and lesbians adopting children has nearly tripled in the past decade despite challenges in many states.

According to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, about 21,740 gay couples had an adopted child in 2009. That's up from 6,477 in 2000.

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute released a report Thursday surveying 158 gay and lesbian parents and their experience with the adoption process. The study estimates about 50 percent of gay adoptive families adopted from foster care.

The study found about one-third of adoptive parents were open about their sexual orientation.

Several states prohibit same-sex couples from adopting jointly, while others have a patchwork of policies making it difficult for gays and lesbians to adopt.