LGBT Parents And Allies Launch Campaign To Solve U.S. Foster Care Crisis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sean Carlson | 202.550.2315│scarlson@familyequality.org

LGBT PARENTS AND ALLIES LAUNCH CAMPAIGN TO SOLVE U.S. FOSTER CARE CRISIS
Campaign To Mobilize “Allies for Adoption” to Shift National Dialogue on Adoption by LGBT Parents

Washington DC- (Nov. 6, 2013) – Family Equality Council, the national organization that supports, represents and connects the three million parents in our country who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and their six million children today announced a campaign for National Adoption Month that demands all 50 states stop putting up barriers to adoption by LGBT individuals and families. The campaign is being launched in cooperation with several major child welfare and social justice organizations.

Family Equality Council Executive Director Gabriel Blau said the Allies for Adoption Campaign seeks to call attention to America’s need for adoptive parents, and the massive pool of LGBT people who are currently being overlooked.

“We can solve America’s shortage of adoptive parents if we would simply allow LGBT people to adopt in all 50 states,” said Gabriel Blau, Executive Director of the Family Equality Council. “There are five times the number of prospective parents who are LGBT than there are youth in foster care waiting for a home. Right now there are children waiting to find a forever family, and until we knock down barriers to adoption by LGBT people in every state, we are failing them as a nation.”

Blau also cited the following statistics about public adoption in America and how the LGBT community could help lead the way to finding families for all children who need one:

  • 400,000 kids are currently in U.S. foster care system | 100,000 are eligible for adoption | Yet 23,500 “aged out” before finding a family in 2012.
  • Same-sex couples raising children are four times more likely than their different-sex counterparts to be raising an adopted child and six times more likely than their different sex counterparts to be raising foster children.
  • The majority of states have barriers restricting the ability of LGBT people and same-sex couples to adopt children |Only 19 states and D.C. permit same-sex couples to jointly adopt | Only 13 states and D.C. permit second-parent adoptions  | Only 6 states explicitly ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in foster care.

Allies for Adoption is a multi-faceted public education campaign. Central to the project is an interactive, online National Adoption Dashboard called 50 states of Adoption which shows the patchwork of laws and policies in all 50 states that stand as barriers to children finding forever homes.

The site also includes infographics and social media content that allies can share to tell their friends and family that America could solve our nation’s adoption crisis by connecting our most vulnerable young people with parents who can provide them the forever homes they desperately need.

Blau added, “ If we can mobilize thousands of online Allies for Adoption during National Adoption Monthwe can shift the focus of the national dialogue about adoption back to where it belongs: finding homes for children.”

In November, the campaign will also unveil a 50-state map that includes the photos of loving families across the country that were created through or strengthened by adoption laws that create permanent legal ties between parents and children.

“People all over the United States have witnessed the parenting abilities of people who are LGBT for decades, and the lived experiences of these families speak for themselves, “ said Blau. “By sharing the stories of these loving families, we are showing America the love that exists in our families, and the simple truth that allowing LGBT families to adopt in all 50 states is good for our nation.”

The campaign also highlights a bill called the Every Child Deserves A Family Act, sponsored by Reps. John Lewis (D-GA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) in the House and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in the Senate, which would eliminate state laws, policies, practices and procedures that exclude potential adoptive and foster parents because of their marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.

###