Wrapping Up National Adoption Month
November 25, 2009
“Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Family” is a series of conversations and blog posts celebrating National Adoption Month. This final post in the series comes from Ellen Kahn, director of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Family Project. It has been very exciting and rewarding for HRC’s Family Project to have an active role in recognizing National Adoption Month. The “Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Family” blog series, which featured a diverse range of voices and life experiences, was funny, inspiring and informative. And our web chat covered a lot of basic “nuts and bolts” information that is essential when starting the adoption process. I am delighted to know there is so much interest in and enthusiasm for adoption within our community, and I hope you feel encouraged to learn more about adoption even as we leave National Adoption Month behind. After all, if you are planning to build a family by adoption, or if you are already part of an adoptive family, every month—or every day – includes learning, talking, and exploring the myriad issues that are central to the adoption experience. Feel free to rely on our website as you proceed on your journey – start now by reviewing our adoption resources at our National Adoption Month page. There were several themes that emerged regarding LGBT adoption, and I want to just point out one in particular because it is tied very closely to our All Children—All Families initiative. That is, just about everybody we heard from stated that for LGBT folks, selecting a welcoming, competent agency really becomes key in terms of the potential for a successful adoption experience. The adoption process is not easy for anybody, LGBT or not, and there are a variety of factors that lead to what some describe as an emotional “roller coaster” effect. Given this reality, it is imperative that you know you are working with an agency that truly values and respects you and is committed to standing by you. Our database of agencies is an excellent starting point for finding an agency, and we also encourage you to talk to other LGBT adoptive families and find out what agencies and other community resources they found helpful. While I know that many of us live in states where the laws are prohibitive, or there is entrenched bias against LGBT families, it is safe to say that the child welfare profession in general is shifting toward more openness and interest in the LGBT community as a potential pool of foster/adoptive families. And we are seeing more agency leaders and policy makers move toward more inclusive practices because they, like we, know in their hearts that every child needs and deserves a stable, loving family, and we can indeed be those families. Stay hopeful and keep learning, and next year in November when we once again celebrate National Adoption Month, we hope you will share your story with us and others, and keep the momentum going for the next generation of LGBT families.
May 17, 2013