Family Equality Council Condemns Trump Administration’s Reported Plans to Allow Adoption Discrimination

Family Equality Council and members of the Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign unequivocally condemn the Trump administration’s reported plans to allow taxpayer-funded foster care and adoption agencies to turn away qualified parents who are same-sex couples and deny America’s foster children urgently needed family placements.

“The Trump administration is aware that denying America’s 440,000 foster children loving homes is outrageous and unpopular – otherwise, why would it leak this news on Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend” said Julie Kruse, director of federal policy at Family Equality Council. “The American public overwhelmingly opposes allowing taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies to turn away qualified parents simply because they are in a same-sex relationship.”

“This action harms America’s foster children, particularly the 123,000 waiting for adoption. Less than half of these children will find their forever families within a year, yet the administration is acting to make even fewer families available,” said Denise Brogan-Kator, chief policy officer at Family Equality Council. “Allowing child placing agencies to ignore federal nondiscrimination rules runs counter to the cardinal rule of child welfare: that the best interests of children in care must come first.”

Last week, Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced that they plan to re-introduce the Every Child Deserves a Family Act in Congress in coming weeks, which would ban discrimination in child welfare services based on religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status.

“Congress must act now to pass the Every Child Deserves a Family Act and ensure that more families are available to America’s foster children, and that LGBTQ and religious minority children receive affirming services and placements,” stated Schylar Baber, interim director at Voice for Adoption.

The administration reportedly laid out two options for allowing anti-LGBTQ discrimination in adoption and foster care: the outrageous idea of overturning HHS’ nondiscrimination regulations, which would negatively impact many other health care programs, services, and groups; or providing a religious exemption such as the one used to justify the South Carolina waiver issued by HHS in January 2019, which is already being challenged in court. That waiver allowed faith-based foster care and adoption agencies to turn away Jewish, Catholic, secular and other parents of a faith different than the agency’s.

About Family Equality Council

Family Equality Council advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality Council believes every LGBTQ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at familyequality.org.

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Media Contact:
Ed Harris, Chief Communications Officer, Family Equality Council
646-880-3005 x117  / eharris@familyequality.org