November is National Adoption Month, a time to raise awareness about adoption through foster care in the U.S. These times have been hard on all of us, as we have been socially distant from our friends and families, and it’s especially challenging for youth in foster care who are awaiting adoption. That’s why it’s important we take action right from our homes to highlight why adoption is an LGBTQ issue, the information you should know about adoption and how you can help.
1. Share this information and educate your friends and family about adoption.
There are over 100,000 youth in foster care in the U.S. awaiting adoption, and one quarter of them age out without finding a permanent home. That is more than 20,000 young people who will not experience the love and connection of a permanent family.
2. LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in foster care.
A recent study of foster youth in New York City found that more than one third of youth in foster care are LGBTQ. Research consistently shows LGBTQ youth are overrepresented, and they are more likely to report being treated poorly while in care.
3. Same-sex couples are more likely to raise adopted children than different-sex couples. HRC certifies LGBTQ-inclusive agencies.
According to the Williams Institute, same-sex couples are four times more likely to be raising adopted children than different-sex couples. Additionally, two thirds of LGBTQ millenials are interested in expanding their families, according to a report by the Family Equality Council, and the majority of them plan to use assisted reproductive technology, foster care or adoption to do so.
4. SCOTUS will decide an important case about protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in foster care this year.
This month, SCOTUS held a hearing on Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, which is considering whether foster care agencies that receive federal funding can discriminate against prospective parents based on their agency’s religious beliefs. This HRC report details how creating licenses to discriminate for government contractors negatively impacts youth in the child welfare system. If the court allows discrimination in this forum, it could open a Pandora’s Box for future discrimination – against LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ people alike.
5. You can help support LGBTQ youth and parents this month and all year long.
According to The Trevor Project, one caring adult can reduce suicide risk for an LGBTQ young person by 40%. There is nothing more important than this. If there’s one thing you can do this holiday season, it’s help make this number zero by ensuring every young person has at least one caring adult in their life.