child welfare and family advocacy groups to raise awareness about
the plight of the more than 404,000 children living in foster
This year, we have reason to believe that the message is getting
From the President to Congress to the media, the growing chorus is
child deserves a family.
Last week, President Obama issued a
proclamation in recognition of National Adoption Month that
clearly expresses his belief that adoptive families come in all
It also represents his belief and ours that adoption decisions
should be based on the best interests of children and that all
qualified caregivers should be allowed to serve as adoptive
parents. The reality of today’s America is that LGBT families
are part of the fabric of this country and his statement reaffirms
the President’s support of our community.
The proclamation follows another supportive statement issued by the
White House last week regarding the
Every Child Deserves a Family Act.
Family Equality Council has been working for some time on this
important legislation and we are now thrilled that ECDF has been
introduced in the Senate by lead sponsor Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
If enacted, it would dramatically increase the access foster
children have to permanent and stable homes by discouraging state
laws, policies and practices that exclude potential adoptive and
foster parents because of their marital status, sexual orientation
or gender identity.
A companion bill (H.R. 1681) was introduced in the House last May
by Representative by Rep. Pete Stark (D- CA) during National
Foster Care Awareness Month. The House bill now has 80 bi-partisan
In addition to the President, Senator Gillibrand, Representative
Stark and lawmakers in Congress elevating discussion of this issue,
this month, we are hearing more about it in the media.
Family Equality Council, in cooperation with the Center for
American Progress and the Movement Advancement Project recently
published the “All
Children Matter Report”, a comprehensive report on the LGBT
The groundbreaking new report released shows how two million
children have become collateral damage of decades of ideology, laws
and policies designed to hurt lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) Americans.
The report findings include evidence that a patchwork of
discriminatory state laws and policies are excluding qualified
LGBT parents from the pool of foster and adoptive parents. Those
policies are in effect denying homes to the 115,000 children who
are eligible for adoption each year.
The report includes a recommendation that Congress pass the the
Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which would discourage states
from keeping those laws and policies on the books.
The release of the report generated a great deal of media attention
with the articles printed in hundreds of print and online
publications nationwide. Family Equality Council was proud to help
educate the public through some of those media interviews including
one on MSNBC.
In spite of this growing national dialogue on adoption, there is
reason for continued urgency.
Each year, 25,000 children age out of the foster care system
without finding their forever family.
That is why the Family Equality Council is now reaching out and
asking you to become involved in our campaign this month.
1.) Tell your members of Congress to end systematic
discrimination and support the Every Child Deserves a Family
Act. Let your senators and representative know that you think
that every qualified family should have an equal opportunity to
open their home to a child who needs a family.
2.) Support our work on Capitol Hill. Our staff are
hard at work, educating lawmakers and building support for ECDF.
This bill has been one of our major legislative initiatives, and
we’ve seen great success. 80 representatives are now
co-sponsoring ECDF, more than ever before. And, for the
very first time, ECDF has been introduced into the Senate.
Your support will allow us to keep our team in front of decision
makers until this legislation becomes law.
In addition to being National Adoption Month, November is also a
time when Americans give thanks for our blessings. This month,
let’s work together so that every child has the opportunity to
give thanks for the blessings of family.