- October 31, 2018
Post submitted by former HRC Digital Media Manager Helen Parshall
Today begins HRC’s annual celebration of National Adoption Month, a nationwide initiative to raise awareness aboutthe urgent need to support the more than 400,000 children and youth waiting for a permanent family.
As agencies recruit and license more homes for these young people, HRC Foundation’s All Children - All Families Project helps them recognize that LGBTQ households are an important component of the diverse spectrum of prospective families in our country. Research in the field has long confirmed the significant number of LGBTQ families across the nation -- and has identified a large pool of qualified LGBTQ adults interested in becoming adoptive parents.
Unfortunately, over the last year, anti-equality lawmakers across the country increased their efforts to target prospective LGBTQ foster and adoptive parents in states including South Carolina, Oklahoma and Kansas. These attacks are especially cruel, given that the U.S. is facing a dramatic shortage of adoptive and foster parents.
To explore the impact of potential discrimination in foster care and adoption systems in the U.S., HRC Foundation and Clark University are conducting a groundbreaking survey of LGBTQ people and families. The study, co-authored by Clark University’s Dr. Abbie Goldberg, an international expert on LGBTQ adoption, will help advocates understand the barriers faced by prospective LGBTQ adoptive and foster parents. The survey will also examine how the lack of nationwide non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people affects prospective adoptive and foster parents.
All LGBTQ people over the age of 18 are invited to participate in the survey here.
For these reasons, HRC Foundation’s All Children - All Families Project has worked over the past decade to provide support, resources and tools to increase the capacity of child welfare agencies to better assist qualified LGBTQ adults interested in becoming adoptive parents and LGBTQ youth in foster care. The project has worked with more than 90 participating agencies and more than 60 have earned HRC’s “Seal of Recognition” for their inclusive efforts. Through its in-person and online trainings, All Children-All Families has reached more thousands of hundred child welfare professionals.These agencies are working to ensure that more LGBTQ youth in foster care have access to competent and affirming support services and LGBTQ families are considered as potential forever homes for children and youth awaiting adoption.
Learn more about All Children–All Families’ work to promote LGBTQ cultural competency in adoption and foster care at hrc.org/acaf. Want to stay up-to-date on All Children - All Families resources and activities? Subscribe to “Field Forward,” the program’s monthly e-newsletter at hrc.im/field-forward.