webby awards voting



adoption attorney

Seasoned Same-Sex Adoption Attorney Works with LGBTQ+ Families Seeking to Adopt in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area.

In recent years, adoption by same-sex couples has been legalized in all 50 states in the U.S. But LGBTQ+ couples and individuals have been seeking to raise children and grow their families through adoption, such that today millions of children across the U.S. are being raised in same-sex households. Same-sex couples are several times more likely than heterosexual couples to be raising an adopted child. Studies have shown that adopted children raised in same-sex households fare just as well as children adopted by heterosexual couples.

When you and your spouse or partner are thinking of adopting, turn to Michele Zavos Law. Michele has decades of experience representing same-sex couples and LGBTQ+ individuals pursuing adoption, herself having become a mother with her then-partner after they started a group for lesbians to get support with the process of becoming mothers.

She has a proven record of advocating for the rights of same-sex parents, including arguing cases in state supreme courts and lobbying to amend laws that protect the rights of same-sex couples to adopt and raise families.

Options for Same-Sex Couples to Adopt

If you are part of a same-sex couple that is looking to adopt, fortunately, today you have several options to grow your family, including:

  • Infant adoption, whether through a direct placement from a biological parent, private agency adoption, or public agency adoption
  • Adoption of older children through private agencies or public foster care agencies
  • International adoption, or adopting a child from another country
  • Step-parent adoption, where one spouse of a same-sex couple adopts the biological or adopted child or children of the other spouse
  • Second parent adoption, where one partner of an unmarried same sex-couple adopts their partner’s biological or adopted children

Same-sex couples may also need to go through the adoption process when using assisted reproductive technology to have a child that is genetically related to one of the spouses or partners in the couple, so that both spouses or partners are recognized as the child’s legal parent.

     “michele was such a wonder.
she made you feel part of her
family. she helped my partner
and I adopt our daughter, and we
can’t thank her more.”

LGBTQ+ Adoption in Maryland and DC

In Maryland and the District of Columbia, any adult may petition to adopt a child, regardless of the adult’s sexual orientation or marital or familial status. However, LGBTQ+ couples and individuals may face difficulties working with some private adoption placement agencies, as some agencies choose not to work with LGBTQ+ couples or individuals. In addition, same-sex couples pursuing international adoption may be unable to adopt children from certain countries that have laws prohibiting the adoption of children by LGBTQ+ persons.

The process of adoption is the same for LGBTQ+ couples and individuals as it is for heterosexual couples and individuals. Prospective adoptive parents will first need to undergo a home study, in which a social worker will evaluate the prospective adoptive parent or parents and their household to ensure that the adoptive family and their home are suitable for an adopted child. During the home study process, a prospective adoptive family will also be provided with information to help them prepare to welcome a child. Social workers will ensure that prospective parents are medically, financially, and emotionally capable of providing a loving, supportive environment to a child and that their home will be a safe place for a child to live.

To formally adopt a child, a same-sex couple will need to file a petition for adoption with the court. A petitioner cannot be denied adoption by the court on the basis of their sexual orientation or familial status.Instead, the court will focus on ensuring that a prospective adoptive parent understands the nature and consequences of adopting a child, that they are emotionally and mentally prepared to welcome an adopted child, and that they are capable of providing a safe home environment for a child.

How a Same-Sex Adoption Attorney from Michele Zavos Law Can Assist You and Your Spouse or Partner

If you and your spouse or partner are considering adopting a child, you may have many questions and concerns about what the adoption process will be like for you. Attorney Michele Zavos has decades of experience helping same-sex couples adopt. She can assist you with issues such as:

  • Explaining your options for adoption.
  • Identifying private adoption agencies that are LGBTQ+ friendly, if you wish to work with a private agency for your adoption.
  • Ensuring you know what to expect during the adoption process, including during the home study and post-placement services.
  • Preparing and filing your petition for adoption and representing your rights and interests during the court adoption hearing.


Is a same-sex adoption any different from an adoption by a heterosexual couple?
The process for same-sex couples and individuals to adopt is generally no different than the process that heterosexual couples and individuals go through. However, one difference in the adoption process that LGTBQ couples and individuals may face is that some adoption agencies, often due to religious or cultural reasons, choose not to work with same-sex couples or LGBTQ+ individuals. For this reason, it is important for same-sex couples and individuals who wish to work with adoption agencies to evaluate a prospective agency to see if the agency would be a good fit.
Do same-sex couples have to wait longer to adopt?
Not necessarily, although LGBTQ+ couples or individuals may experience factors that increase the time before they find an adoptive match. For example, for private adoptions where a birth mother chooses the adoptive parents for her baby, some birth mothers for religious or cultural reasons may prefer not to choose same-sex couples or LGBTQ+ individuals. Same-sex couples can increase their chances of finding an adoptive match by having more flexibility with factors such as the ethnicity and gender of the child, the birth mother’s medical history, and the level of contact that a birth mother or birth parents may have following the adoption.

let michele zavos help to complete your family.

full name*