State Laws and Legislation

Vermont Adoption Law

Permits single LGBT individuals to petition to adopt? Yes.
Vermont law permits any person to petition to adopt. VT. STAT. ANN. Tit. 15A § 1-102(a).

Permits a same-sex couple to jointly petition to adopt? Yes.
Same-sex couples who are joined by civil unions or marriage may petition to jointly adopt. According to the website for the Vermont Dept. of Children and Families, Family Services Division: “You can be . . . living with a partner, or joined through a civil union.”

Note: The Marriage Equality Act, effective September 1, 2009, provides for civil same-sex marriages, eliminating the need for civil unions.  However, civil unions entered into prior to September 1 will continue to be honored in Vermont.

Permits a same-sex co-parent to petition to adopt partner’s child or child of the relationship? Yes.
“If a family unit consists of a parent and the parent's partner, and adoption is in the best interest of the child, the partner of a parent may adopt a child of the parent. Termination of the parent's parental rights is unnecessary in an adoption under this subsection.” VT. STAT. ANN. Tit. 15A § 1-102(b).

The Vermont civil union statute states that the “legal benefits, protections and responsibilities [of] . . .  adoption law and procedure” shall apply to parties to a civil union in the same way that they apply to spouses of a civil marriage. VT STAT ANN. Tit. 15 § 1204(a), (e)(4).

Details: According to the website for the Vermont Dept. of Children and Families, Family Services Division: “You can be single, married, living with a partner, or joined through a civil union”; and “Applications are considered regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.”


The legal information provided on this page is provided as a courtesy to the public. It is not designed to serve as legal advice. HRC does not warrant that this information is current or comprehensive.

Updated: Mon, December 14, 2009 - 12:00:42