What Americans think about same-sex couples and adoption

Jamie BallardData Journalist
November 21, 2019, 6:00 PM GMT+0

A proposal from the Trump administration would allow foster care and adoption agencies to deny services to LGBTQ families if the agency holds religious beliefs that oppose same-sex unions.

A YouGov survey from May 2019 found that nearly half (49%) of US adults believe it is unacceptable for adoption/foster agencies to decline to place a child with a same-sex couple for religious reasons. More than one-third (36%) say this practice is acceptable.

Gay/lesbian Americans (72%), and bisexual (75%) Americans are especially likely to say they find this idea unacceptable. Democrats (69%) also tend to find this unacceptable -- in contrast with Republicans, 59 percent of whom believe this practice is acceptable.

Related: Why Americans are (or aren’t) considering adoption

President Donald Trump’s supporters likely welcome this move.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of people who voted for Trump in 2016 say they believe it’s acceptable for faith-based adoption agencies to decline to place a child with a same-sex couple. Far fewer (27%) Trump voters say this idea is unacceptable.

Beliefs about same-sex adoption differ between those who are married and/or have children and those who don’t.

While 44 percent of Americans who have a child under the age of 18 say it’s acceptable for agencies to refuse services for same-sex couples on religious grounds, 43 percent say they find it unacceptable. Those who are not parents of a minor are more likely to find this unacceptable (51%) than acceptable (35%).

Americans who are married are in a similar deadlock: 44 percent of married people say it’s acceptable for agencies to do this; 44 percent say it is unacceptable. Those who have never been married are far more likely to say this is unacceptable (54%). Americans who identify themselves as being in a domestic/civil union are also more likely to say that this is unacceptable (59%).

See full results from this survey here.

Methodology: Total sample size for the survey was 3,721 US adults, including 169 individuals who self-identify as gay or lesbian, and 149 US adults who self-identify as bisexual. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (ages 18+).

Image: Getty