HRC Connects with Prospective Parents at Adoption Expo
November 9, 2010 by Alison Delpercio, Associate Director, HRC Children, Youth & Families Program
As we mentioned last week, November is National Adoption Month and this past Saturday I represented HRC’s All Children – All Families initiative at the Freddie Mac Foundation’s Adoption Expo in Washington, D.C. The expo featured over 30 public and private adoption agencies and offered plenty of information for anyone interested in pursuing adoption. Agency representatives were at booths in the exhibit hall answering a range of questions from “What’s my first step?” to “What resources are available to me after I adopt?” They also held workshops answering the most common questions about the adoption process and discussing topics such as trans-racial adoption, how to know if you’re ready to adopt and adopting older children. Over 2,000 people registered for the expo and I connected with many LGBT individuals and couples in attendance. Several of them came up to my booth and asked for information on LGBT-friendly agencies in the D.C. area. It was great being able to tell them about the work that Adoptions Together (Silver Spring, MD) and D.C. Child & Family Services Agency are doing to welcome and support LGBT-headed families. Both agencies are participating in All Children – All Families. Adoptions Together was one of the very first agencies to achieve our Seal of Recognition for its policies and practice with LGBT clients. Watch this Adoption 101 video featuring both agencies from last year’s National Adoption Month celebration at HRC. Throughout the day, many non-LGBT individuals and couples also came to my booth not sure what All Children – All Families was about. I was never sure what to expect after giving them my brief “elevator” (more like “booth”) pitch: “All Children – All Families provides resources for adoption and foster care agencies so they have the tools and training needed to really welcome and support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender prospective adoptive parents.” A lot of people politely smiled and went on to the next booth realizing our resources weren’t for them. Many stopped and chatted with me, wanting to learn more. I was thrilled by the messages of gratitude and support from our allies in attendance. Some quickly snagged all our handouts, explaining something like: “I have a good friend who would definitely be interested in this.” A couple people asked, “Do you have a website?” occasionally adding, “I’ll e-mail my cousin. Maybe she’d be interested in adopting if she knew about this work.” And there were those who simply stated, “It is really great to see you here. Thank you so much.” They all understood that this work is about finding families for the over 100,000 children and youth in foster care in the U.S. and that LGBT individuals and couples can be those families. Interested in adoption? Learn more at http://www.hrc.org/issues/adoption.
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