The Family Equality Council has invest a lot of resources to promote this legislation:
This month, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act was introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and a companion bill in the House now has 82 bi-partisan co-sponsors thanks to the work of lead sponsor, Rep. Pete Stark (CA).
This bill would ensure that our country is doing everything possible to move children out of the foster care system and into permanent loving homes. It would eliminate discrimination in foster and adoption placement policies based on the marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity of the prospective parents.
The Equality Council has a list of over 12 blogs that honor National Adoption Month with posts about LGBTQ adoption.
I have a story, too. When I was a foster parent recruiter, a lesbian couple joined our agency. They regularly provided respite care for a 4 year old boy who developed a rapport with them. When his preadoptive home didn’t work out, they opted to adopt him because they knew their bond was his best chance to recover from childhood neglect and flourish. It wasn’t their intent to adopt or even to foster longterm. They came into the system to provide support other foster parents. But when destiny called, they stepped up and adopted this beautiful little boy. They’ve weathered a lot of storms – don’t think it always ends on a rosy note. But they are a family.
Pennsylvania does not permit LGBTQ couples to adopt together. We do have second parent adoption. So it is almost the same, but not quite.
We also have a foster care and adoption service programs increasingly resting in the hands of faith based organizations. That is problematic for potential LGBTQ families interested in foster parenting and adoption. It is a question you might ask before you donate. It also problematic for LGBTQ kids in their care. I’m not suggesting LGBTQ children need to be fostered by LGBTQ parents, but certainly a diverse foster care system is best for all children.
Sadly, Pennsylvania’s legislature also cut protections for sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression from the Foster Children’s Bill of Rights last year.
I urge you to pursue foster parenting if you are so inclined. You can call me for more information on agencies that support and uphold your identities.
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