Within the United States, gay adoption laws vary from state to state. While some states recognize the validity of a same-sex marriage, other states do not recognize same-sex marriages as legally-binding.
An individual state’s view on same-sex marriage is dually important because many states’ gay adoption laws are contingent on the assumed legal status of the marriage with regard to a couple interested in adoption. As a result, many pro-gay adoption lobbyists feel as though state legislatures that have not only forbidden couples who are not legally wed to adopt a child, but also do not recognize same-sex marriage have indirectly outlawed gay adoption.
This charge has been defended by opponents of gay adoption, stating that these laws forbid any unwed couple to adopt a child regardless of sexual orientation. However, proponents of the development of gay adoption laws are suspicious of the reasoning behind such legislation. Arkansas, Florida, and Utah are examples of states that have outlawed the adoption of a child by a couple who is unwed.