Discrimination in adoption is
a national child welfare issue of utmost importance Denying
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals and
couples the right to adopt or foster hurts our nation’s neediest
decisions concerning the health and welfare of the country’s most
vulnerable children should be made solely with the best interest of
the child in mind. Family Equality Council looks forward to working
with Congressman Stark and House Bill 3827 and sees this work as an
opportunity to educate members of Congress and the public about why
discrimination in adoption is a national child welfare issue that
needs to be addressed immediately.” – Jennifer
Executive Director, Family Equality
The Every Child Deserves
a Family Act (HR 3827) would restrict federal funds for states
that discriminate in adoption or foster programs on the basis of
marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity. Click
here to read the article by the Washington Blade.
Currently there are an
estimated 500,000 children in the United States foster care system
and over 129,000 are legally available for adoption. Unfortunately
nearly 25,000 foster children a year are “aged out” of the
system and never find a permanent family. These children vary in
age, race, and family history but all share a common need for
loving homes with loving parents.
Thirty years of scientific
research shows overwhelmingly that children raised in same-sex
headed households do just as well emotionally and psychologically
as children raised in heterosexual households. Leading child
welfare organizations support adoption by lesbian and gay men,
including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Child Welfare League
of America, North American Council on Adoptable Children, American
Psychological Association, American Bar Association, American
Psychiatric Association, American Psychoanalytic Association and
the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Currently there are an
estimated 2 million children being raised by lesbian or gay
parents, 65,500 of whom are adopted. Lesbian and gay parents live
in 99.9% of counties across the U.S. Adoption policies with regards
to LGBT parents vary from state to state. Although Florida is the
only state with an express ban on adoption by LGBT individuals, as
of 2008, seven states either expressly restrict adoption by LGBT
couples or had laws and policies that may have the effect of
restricting LGBT parents from adopting. State laws and regulations
are not the only barriers facing LGBT individuals.
One-third of child welfare agencies currently reject LGBT
applicants, citing state law, a policy of placing children with
married-heterosexual only couples, or a conflict with the religious
beliefs associated with the agency.
LGBT families are
also raising an estimated 3% of children in the foster care system.
As of 2007, four states also restrict LGBT individuals from
becoming foster parents. To learn more on state specific LGBT
adoption and foster care policies and laws visit
To learn more about your
state’s adoption laws visit https://dev-fec.pantheonsite.io/resources/publications.html.