Wednesday, July 10, 2019


PRIDE MONTH may be over, but I am still thinking about all the LGBTQ singles and couples I have helped adopt over the years, those I am currently working with and those who will cross my path in the years to come.

I believe children deserve to be in a loving home and that a person’s gender or sexual identity or orientation is not a deciding factor in the ability to parent. In fact, often adults who have overcome personal adversity are even more sensitive to how it feels to be perceived as different.

There are complexities in all adoptive families resulting from the way the family was formed. Not better or worse – and being raised in an LGBTQ family is just another layer. just different.

All adoptive children have two families, one of nature and one of nurture. While more and more adoptions include ongoing communications with birth parents, whether active in the child’s life or not, there is a psychological connection. The ebb and flow of thinking about their birth parents or siblings is different for every child. Establishing an open dialogue about adoption with your child will ensure that they feel comfortable expressing themselves and in asking questions.

There will be judgements and preconceived notions of how you became a family. Assumptions that you adopted or used donors or surrogates. There may be well intentioned or intrusive questions. There may be rude or insensitive comments even in front of your child.

Explain to your child that a birth parent choosing an LGBTQ parent is a testament not only to the birth parent’s belief that you would be a good parent, but to their caring, accepting and non-judgmental nature. These traits, along with others, can be shared with your child as they grow.

Explain to family members, friends, teachers and other caretakers that while your child’s history is personal and private, their joining your family through adoption is not a secret. But you or your child are the ones who should reveal that fact. Tell others that if an issue is raised in their presence, they should let you know so you can check it out with your child. 

As a parent you will be continually advocating for your child. You should be ready with various responses and also teach your child how to respond - when to answer questions generically, when to share personal information and when to not respond, say “that’s personal” or just walk away. This may include questions and comments about adoption, having a single parent or having same sex parents.

You can share your own experiences with your child of being asked or feeling the need to explain yourself or your family to others. That not everyone understands, but you are proud of who you are, who they are and of your current family.

Thank you for letting me be part of your journeys and helping to build nurturing, emotionally strong and resilient families.

Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. Through her private practice and agency affiliations, she has prepared  thousands of adoption  homestudies, counseled  expectant, birth, pre/post adoptive parents and  adopted  persons, as  well  as trained  professionals  to  work  with  adoptive  families. She  was Director of the  Ametz  Adoption  Program of  JCCA and a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption  Series and the  Adoption  Advisory  Board  of  Path2Parenthood, She is currently a  Adoption   Professional   Advisory  Council  of  HelpUSAdopt , a member of the Advisory Board of the Family Equality Council and  active  in  the  Adoptive Parents Committee in  New  York.  Her  blogs  and  written contributions can be seen throughout the Internet, including  her  BLOG  and  as  Head  Writer  for  ADOPTION.NET   She  was  named  an  “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. You can reach her directly