For Children in LGBT Unions, Supreme Court Ruling Falls Short
SAN FRANCISCO--Despite the Supreme Court's blow to the federal Defense of Marriage Act and punting of California’s Proposition 8 back to lower court, many children in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LTBT) families will continue to be shortchanged by current Social Security restrictions. The program’s rules are unfavorable to them, but not to minors in families with heterosexual parents, stepparents and even grandparents.
Experts say that only action by Congress—unlikely in the current political atmosphere—or possibly by the Social Security Administration could remedy the inequity.
A recent report, "Living Outside the Safety Net: LGBT Families and Social Security," states, “In the absence of fair adoption laws, thousands of same-sex parents across the country remain legal strangers to the children they are raising.”
Currently, Social Security provides family benefits to 4.4 million children. According to a study by the Family Equality Council, LGBT parents are raising as many as 2.8 million children in the United States, a “number is expected to grow in the coming years.”
The report goes on, “Same-sex couples of color are more likely to be raising children than white same-sex couples.” Overall, four in 10 same-sex couples with children identify as non-white compared to about one-quarter of married heterosexual couples with children.