Same-sex adoption

It's legal for same-sex couples to adopt children in 54 countries, but 7 require marriage first.

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  • Legal
  • Married couples only
  • Single only
  • Step-child adoption only
  • Illegal
  • Unknown, N/A, or ambiguous

Recent Changes

Same-sex adoption

The ability for same-sex couples to legally adopt a child.

Summary

47
Legal
47 regions (20%)
Legal
136
Somewhere in between
136 regions (59%)
Somewhere in between
28
Illegal
28 regions (12%)
Illegal
21
No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous
21 regions (9%)
No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous
Europe
35%
LEGAL EQUALITY
Legal
18 regions (35%)
Somewhere in between
21 regions (40%)
Illegal
8 regions (15%)
No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous
5 regions (10%)
Oceania
29%
LEGAL EQUALITY
Legal
7 regions (29%)
Somewhere in between
16 regions (67%)
Illegal
regions (0%)
No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous
1 regions (4%)
South America
43%
LEGAL EQUALITY
Legal
6 regions (43%)
Somewhere in between
6 regions (43%)
Illegal
regions (0%)
No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous
2 regions (14%)
North America
19%
LEGAL EQUALITY
Legal
7 regions (19%)
Somewhere in between
26 regions (72%)
Illegal
1 regions (3%)
No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous
2 regions (6%)
Africa
10%
LEGAL EQUALITY
Legal
6 regions (10%)
Somewhere in between
44 regions (75%)
Illegal
8 regions (14%)
No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous
1 regions (2%)
Asia
7%
LEGAL EQUALITY
Legal
3 regions (7%)
Somewhere in between
23 regions (50%)
Illegal
11 regions (24%)
No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous
9 regions (20%)

Progress over time

Number of countries with equality for same-sex adoption over the past 60 years.

Recent changes

Same-sex adoption by country

(and dependent territories)

Married couples only

Same-sex adoption is married couples only in 7 regions.

  1. Africa (2)
  2. Rwanda
  3. Tanzania
  4. Oceania (1)
  5. Fiji

Single only

Same-sex adoption is single only in 126 regions.

  1. South America (6)
  2. Bolivia 2002
  3. Chile
  4. Ecuador 2008
  5. Guyana 2017
  6. Suriname
  7. Venezuela

Step-child adoption only

Same-sex adoption is step-child adoption only in 3 regions.

  1. Europe (2)
  2. Estonia 2017
  3. Slovenia 2011
  4. Africa (1)
  5. Ghana

Illegal

Same-sex adoption is illegal in 28 regions.

  1. North America (1)
  2. El Salvador

No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous

Data on same-sex adoption is unclear, not applicable, or missing in 21 regions.

  1. North America (2)
  2. Mexico
  3. United States
  4. Africa (1)
  5. Algeria
  6. Oceania (1)
  7. Australia
  8. South America (2)
  9. Paraguay
  10. Peru
  11. Antarctica (1)
  12. Antarctica

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