Gay men and lesbians have always adopted, but they might not have made their sexuality public. Today, openly gay and lesbian men and women are considered more seriously as potential adoptive parents. This change has been aided by the increase in the number of gay and lesbian biological parents in the United States. Between 8 and 10 million children are being raised in gay and lesbian households.

Despite this increase in gay and lesbian parenting, social workers may have reservations when considering gay adoptive parents for a child. They might wonder how the children will be raised, and how they will feel about themselves and their parents. The effects on children of being raised by lesbian and gay adoptive parents cannot be truly be predicted. The number of same sex couples who have adopted children is unknown, and because of the controversy of the issue, their children are often reluctant to speak out, even when they should.