Same-sex parenthood: the process

Same-sex parenthood: the process

A same-sex family is a new form of family composed by two parents of the same sex or a homosexual adult and a child. To live in the home of their dreams, the majority of gay or lesbian couples choose to go through adoption. Essential to have the condition of being a legal parent, the latter involves many steps to follow before the final decision is made. Before you start, it is best to be aware of them in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Approval request

What is an approval?

It is essential for the validation of a same-sex adoption initiative, an approval allows adopters to have access to a legal process. This prerequisite attests to the ability of the future parent to carry out his or her project to found a family, without harming the child’s interests. This step is mandatory for any adult currently married or in a civil partnership (in the case of an adoption as a single person), who is at least 28 years old and wishes to register a child in his or her filiation.

As from the approval, the adopter may specify the number, age and origin of his or her future children. However, it is important to remember that the approval is not a certification of being a bad or good parent, but rather a preparation for a parenting role.

How to obtain it?

In order to proceed, it is advisable to prepare a file that includes a handwritten application. This latter is intended for the Child Welfare Service (also called ESA in France), which is represented by a President of the Departmental General Council. 

The processing of each file takes a maximum of nine months, starting from the day on which the application is submitted. After having done this, your name will be directly entered on the list of adopters who are in the same situation as you. All you have to do is wait for the final decision before proceeding to the next step.

What are the steps to follow?

After submitting your application, the approval will not be validated immediately. The adoption service submits the application to specialized social workers and psychologists. The adoption applicant must go through three stages to validate his or her application. The social worker conducts a study on the feasibility of the project, the applicant’s ability to assume the role of a parent and his or her willingness to start a family. After the interview, the professional draws a conclusion and writes his report. 

A psychologist or psychiatrist will then take over by analyzing the applicant’s personality, motivation and vision of a family with an adopted child. The psychologist also gives his approval by writing a report on the interview with the applicant.

After these steps, all reports will complete the applicant’s dossiers and will be submitted to the Child Welfare Service for validation. If you have already had a child before this process, he or she will also be interviewed.

Denied or approved?

After reviewing your file, each intervener prepares a report to assess whether your application is likely to be accepted or rejected. If you are accepted, your accreditation will be valid for five consecutive years, but you must make an annual confirmation to the Child Welfare Service indicating your desire to adopt a child. Please note that after this period, you will have to renew your request. Furthermore, if you change your project within the five-year period, a new application will also be required.

However, if your project has been rejected, you have the right to file for an administrative appeal or a contentious-administrative appeal before the Administrative Tribunal. This negative decision has a validity of thirty months and should not discourage you. After this period, you have the right to file a new application and repeat the same procedure until you succeed.

And after the approval?


After having received the approval, your name will be added to the list of adopters, which takes into account both the particularity of the future adoptees and the length of time you have been in the adoption process. Once it is your turn, you will continue the process with the matching phase. The latter refers to an agreement between the family council and the guardian for the purpose of receiving the adoptable child in the adoptive home. It should be noted that this step does not yet constitute adoption, but moves you closer to it.

Initiated by the social services, the matching allows the child and his or her parent to get to know each other. The adoption professional transmits the file of the future adopted person: age, health conditions or specific needs… gives a time for reflection and organizes the first meeting.

Foster care placement contract and adoption

After making contact, you will know if you are able to take care of the child that has been suggested to you. After this step, a foster care placement contract is proposed to you while awaiting the final decision of a judge on the legal adoption. This document serves as a certificate until the Court’s decision is issued.

These processes seem long and difficult, but with good support and the sharing of experiences, you will be able to succeed more easily. On Coparentalys, you will find many same-sex adopters who want to share their experience.