Adoption partner's child mainly occurs in female same-sex couples

24/04/2012 15:00

The number of child adoptions by partners is nearly four times as high as in 2000. This is predominantly due to so-called partner adoptions in female same-sex couples. More than eight in ten partner adoptions involved adoption by a partner in a lesbian relationship in 2010.

Distinct increase due to more liberal legislation

Since 1 April 2001, it is possible for lesbian and gay couples to adopt children. As a result, the number of partner adoptions  increased considerably in the early 21st century. Another surge occurred in 2009 and ensues from liberalisation of the legislation regarding adoptions by lesbian partners since 1 January 2009.

More partner adoptions in lesbian than in opposite-sex couples

The number of partner adoptions totalled 443 in 2010, of which 366 in lesbian relationships. The number of partner adoptions in opposite-sex couples has declined steadily since the turn of the century. Heterosexual couples adopted 77 children in 2010.

Partner adoptions

Partner adoptions

Lesbian partners often adopt babies

Lesbian mothers often adopt babies, whereas baby adoption is rare in heterosexual couples. More than half of children adopted in 2010 by heterosexual couples were 10 years or older.

Child’s age at moment of partner adoption 2010

Child’s age at moment of partner adoption 2010

Wim Vissers and Arno Sprangers