• November 2012
  • Vol. 13, No. 10

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LGBT Foster and Adoptive Families

A June 2012 issue brief by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), Family Equality Council, and Center for American Progress provides an overview of the obstacles faced by many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) families wishing to foster or adopt. The brief also offers policy recommendations that would enable these families to provide safe, loving, and permanent  homes for waiting children.

The brief is organized into the following five sections that use bulleted lists, tables, and charts to easily convey pertinent data, legislation, and related information:

  • The Need for Foster and Adoptive Families provides the most current numbers of waiting children and highlights the overrepresentation of children of color in foster care.
  • LGBT Foster and Adoptive Families uses data and other group characteristics to demonstrate that LGBT families are willing, able, and qualified to serve as foster and adoptive homes.
  • Current Law: LGBT Fostering and Adoption illustrates which States have instituted nondiscrimination policies and, conversely, which States bar LGBT fostering and adoption, in addition to those that are "silent" on the issue.
  • Bans, Bias, and Erosion of Protections outlines the specific efforts some States have taken to restrict LGBT individuals from fostering and adopting.
  • Foster Care and Adoption Policy Recommendations details five recommendations that include the passage of new antidiscrimination laws, the repeal of existing laws that restrict same-sex or unmarried couples from adopting, the education of family court judges and law students on LGBT families and parenting research, and the provision of cultural competency training to child welfare workers.

Finding Children Forever Homes: LGBT Foster and Adoptive Families is available on the American Civil Liberties Union website:

https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/foster_and_adoption_facts.pdf (2 MB)

The information presented in this article is based on material from the authors' October 2011 report All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families. It is available on the MAP website:

http://www.lgbtmap.org/lgbt-families

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