HRC Launches New 50 State Outreach Strategy to Expand Opportunities for Adoption
September 14, 2011 by Paul Guequierre
In an effort to open more loving homes for children across the country, the HRC Foundation is launching a new “50 state strategy,” with the goal of securing at least one All Children—All Families -recognized adoption agency dedicated to working with LGBT families in every state. The All Children—All Families initiative provides a comprehensive framework for agencies to establish policies and practices that welcome, support and affirm LGBT foster and adoptive parents.
With well over 100,000 children nationwide in need of a loving forever home, the issue of adoption by same-sex couples has heated up over the past year. We have seen attacks on our families by anti-equality forces, despite the fact that all major medical and child welfare organizations, including the American Medical Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychiatric Association have all come out in favor of allowing same-same sex couples to adopt.
HRC is partnering with Equality Virginia, to reach out to the State Board of Social Services, which earlier this year voted to strip legal protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, religion, age, gender, disability, political beliefs and family status from final rules governing licensed adoption and foster care agencies, but has recently re-opened the public comment period. Also earlier this year Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law SB 1188, which gives preference to married couples in the adoption process – essentially excluding same-sex couples and narrowing opportunities for single adults who wish to provide a loving home to children. In a bit of good news, the Arkansas Supreme Court in April upheld a lower court ruling that a law prohibiting adoption by unmarried couples who live together violates the Arkansas Constitution. In Washington, D.C., Representative Pete Stark (D-CA) reintroduced legislation, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, to address discrimination against qualified, licensed LGBT foster and adoptive families nationwide.
It is really quite simple – removing barriers to adoption by LGBT families expands the pool of loving and capable parents, opening more forever homes to children who so desperately need them. To date, ACAF has 50 participating agencies across the country, and has awarded 15 seals of recognition. Learn more about ACAF.
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