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A Turning Point: LGBTQ+ fostering and adoptions on the rise

Same-sex couples were not allowed to start adopting together until 2015.

CLEVELAND — Seven years ago, same-sex married couples gained the right to adopt children and though the need is very much there – LGBTQ families still face challenges in the road to foster and adopt.

For Katie Theobald and Alison Farone, they know the journey to adoption well because they’ve lived it.

The couple met at Kent State University, got married in 2017 and now they are mommy and mama to two little boys. Their journey with adoption and foster care started in 2018 at Cleveland’s Pride Festival where they met volunteers with NOAS or Northeast Ohio Adoption Services.

“NOAS actually handed us a pamphlet and said, Hey, we are all inclusive…look into us,” said Theobald.

Immediately, they knew they wanted to open their hearts to children who needed them.

After many classes, training, and inspections – Alison and Katie started fostering. After spending years together with three little boys, Katie and Alison officially adopted two biological brothers.

“We say that all of the time, they are ours now,” said Theobald.

However, it wasn’t always this easy. Same-sex couples were not allowed to start adopting together until 2015. Currently, NOAS has six same-sex couples fostering children, which is the most since the creation of NOAS.

“It’s becoming more prominent, nationally, the conversation has become very highlighted especially during pride month...pride month is a reason for why its growing,” said Cheryl Tarantino, NOAS Executive Director.

According to the census, same-sex couples are four times more likely than opposite-sex couples to have adopted children or stepchildren.

“When we first got together, I don’t think having a child was feasible,” said Farone. “We have seen the world becoming more accepting and seeing NOAS there opened our eyes to we could this. As much as its normal in our house we know that not everyone has that opinion. “

At the end of the day, this family is founded on acceptance, love, and happiness.

‘We are always going to be a family and they are always going to be safe, and this is their home to the point where they say we are adopted and we are going to live here forever,” said Theobald.

“[The boys] are proud to tell people they have two moms.”

Click here to learn more about Northeast Ohio Adoption Services. 

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