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Position Statement:
Co-Adoption of Children by Same Sex Couples

With spreading legal recognition of same-sex couples, issues relating to adopting children have been increasingly discussed. In countries where laws allow the joint or co-adoption of children by married couples, the issue centers on whether these laws extend to same-sex couples.

The World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) has laid out clear statements regarding support for the equality of rights regardless of sexual orientation in the document: Sexual Health for the Millennium. A Declaration and Technical Document (2008); as well as in the WAS Declaration of Sexual Rights (1999).

This position extends to issue of co-adoption of children by same-sex couples. If a law permits two people to jointly adopt a child, the genders or sexual orientations of those two people should not affect the rights to equal treatment under the law. Laws that explicitly prohibit or restrict co-adoption based on gender or sexual orientation should be considered as discriminatory.


Furthermore, no credible scientific evidence has been presented that demonstrates that same-sex couples are less able to provide necessary environments and appropriate parenting than heterosexual couples. Likewise, no credible evidence exists to suggest that sexual orientation is in any way associated with parenting skills.

The World Association for Sexual Health fully supports the ability of same-sex couples to co-adopt children under the same conditions as heterosexual couples.

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