A study released Thursday by a non-partisan adoption group says that states need to tap into the gay and lesbian community to reduce the number of children up for adoption.

There are about 129,000 children waiting to be adopted, the New York-based Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute said in the report.

Many of these children are older and have special physical, mental health, and developmental challenges.

“[They] face gloomy prospects of succeeding in life without adoptive parents who can provide them with affection, nurture, support, and guidance,” the report said, noting that research shows that the 25,000 youths who “age out” of foster care each year are at high risk for a host of negative outcomes, including poverty, homelessness, incarceration and early parenthood.

The Institute study said that the pool of prospective adoptive parents must be increased and recommends that state laws and agency practices must be revised to become more welcoming of gay and lesbian applicants.

A number of states have banned same-sex marriage and several are moving to bar gay couples from adopting.  Florida denies the right to adopt to all gays, whether in a relationship or not.

Read the full story from 365gay.com.