Devereux Arizona becomes state’s first adoption agency to earn seal for implementing fully inclusive policies in working with LGBT families
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, announced today that Devereux Arizona became the first adoption agency in Arizona to earn the All Children—All Families seal of recognition. The Tucson adoption agency earned the honor by meeting the required criteria for fully inclusive policies and practices in working with the LGBT community. The Human Rights Campaign’s 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 The seal was presented to Lane Barker, the Executive Director of Devereux Arizona.
“It is an honor to be recognized by an organization of such caliber as the Human Rights Campaign,” shared Lane Barker. “For years we have focused on providing the highest quality of services to children and families throughout Arizona. Inherent to this focus is the recruitment and retention of an array of foster care providers, to include qualified applicants from the LGBT community. It is our goal to help all children in need, so it is nice to be recognized as a leader in serving diverse groups.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Devereux Arizona into the community of child welfare organizations that are truly committed to creating more loving families by removing barriers to qualified LGBT adoptive parents. It is wonderful that LGBT individuals and couples in Arizona have a trusted resource to turn to when pursuing adoption,” added Ellen Kahn, HRC’s Family Project Director.
Devereux Arizona’s commitment to all Arizona families is needed more than ever. Last year 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. The new law explicitly states that if all relevant factors are equal and the choice is between a married man and woman certified to adopt and a single adult certified to adopt, placement preference shall be with a married man and woman. Gay and lesbian couples are not able to legally marry in Arizona.
The “All Children – All Families” initiative, launched in 2007, promotes policies and practices that welcome LGBT foster and adoptive parents. The program seeks to enhance LGBT cultural competence among child welfare professionals and educate LGBT people about opportunities to become foster or adoptive parents to waiting children. To date, ACAF has over 50 participating agencies across the country, and has awarded 17 seals of recognition. In September HRC launched a “50 state strategy,” with the goal of securing at least one ACAF-recognized adoption agency dedicated to working with LGBT families in every state. More information about the initiative can be found at www.hrc.org/acaf.
Devereux is a leading nonprofit behavioral health organization that supports many of the most underserved and vulnerable members of our communities. Founded in 1912, Devereux strives to provide consistently high quality programs, services, and resources in safe and supportive environments that enrich and empower individuals and communities to be the best they can be.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.