For many couples, the dream of becoming parents may only be possible through adoption. Adoptive parents come in all forms, including those families comprised of same-sex couples. Though New York has laws in place that protect the rights of these residents to seek adoption, not every state is proactive.  

One couple believed their dream of parenthood was finally realized when they were approved as foster parents for a new-born baby. Unfortunately, shortly after meeting the infant, they received a call informing them that their application had been denied. Though a judge purportedly rejected their request for adoption based on geographical reasons, the women feared that they were denied based on their same-sex marriage. The local office of Child Protective Services has a policy that requires children remain in their home county or within 50 miles of the home from which they were removed. The women reportedly do meet that second requirement.

In spite of their offers to delay their planned relocation and to rent an apartment within the county’s district, the officials with CPS refused to respond to the women’s entreaties. Though there has been no official response from those in charge of the agency, the director denied that it practices any discrimination against same-sex couples. One of the women reported that she and her partner received an anonymous letter that referred them to professionals who advocate for same-sex couples.

It is unclear how these women will proceed in their hopes of adopting a child. One attorney stated that they did not have grounds to refute the judge’s decision. New York residents who are seeking to adopt a child or have other family law related questions that relate to their same-sex marriages may benefit from seeking the guidance of an attorney who handles these types of cases on a routine basis.

Source:, “Same-sex couple stonewalled day before they were to adopt“, Anna Wolfe, April 30, 2018