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Number of gay couples who adopt nearly tripled over last 10 years

The number of gays adopting children in the United States nearly tripled in the last decade, in part due to lessened restrictions and increased social acceptability, according to a report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

About 21,740 same-sex couples adopted children in 2009, which was an enormous jump from 6,477 in 2000, the report said. Around 32,571 adopted children were living with gay couples in 2009, which was up from 8,310 in 200.  The report gathered information from the recently released 2010 Census Bureau estimates.

The most children adopted by gays were in Massachusetts, California, New York and Texas. Some states, including Utah, prohibit same-sex couples from adopting children. Other states have an assortment of policies and procedures that make it difficult for gays and lesbians to adopt as a couple.

Florida stopped enforcing a ban on gay adoptions after a state appeals court ruled the 30-year-old law was unconstitutional.

A study released by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute indicated that around half of gay people adopted their children through foster care programs. The report found that 60 percent of adoption agencies in the U.S. accept applications from gay people and nearly half of them reach out to gay individuals and families. About 30 percent of adoptions by gay parents were open with the birth mother and the majority of those reported positive reactions from the parents.

Despite repeated efforts to repeal the law banning second-parent adoptions for gays and other unmarried partners, the Utah Legislature has blocked all attempts.

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