WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign Foundation commends a report issued today by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute that urges changes to state laws and adoption agency practices so they are more welcoming of gay and lesbian applicants. The report, released yesterday, underscores the need for the HRC Foundation's "All Children - All Families" initiative which is currently engaged in efforts to improve agency competence in working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) families.
"The Adoption Institute has issued a powerful report that outlines the need for more loving families for children in foster care," says Ellen Kahn, director of the HRC Foundation's Family Project. "The report makes a compelling case for state laws and agency policies that welcome lesbian and gay prospective parents to expand the pool of permanent families for children. The All Children-All Families initiative answers that call by providing a comprehensive framework for agencies to improve their policies and practices and become fully welcoming of LGBT adoptive parents.
The Adoption Institute's report, Expanding Resources for Waiting Children II: Eliminating Legal and Practice Barriers to Gay and Lesbian Adoption from Foster Care, provides specific, research-based findings and recommendations about state laws and adoption agency policies. In a statement, the Adoption Institute recommends that adoption and foster care agencies "assess their policies and practices to ensure that they are welcoming - in recruitment, training and post-placement services - for all qualified family resources who want to provide homes for children in foster care, including gay/lesbian individuals and couples."
The "All Children - All Families" initiative helps to find permanent families for children by promoting policies that welcome LGBT foster and adoptive parents. It seeks to enhance LGBT competence among child welfare professionals and educate LGBT people about opportunities to become foster or adoptive parents to waiting children. More information about the initiative can be found at www.hrc.org/acaf.
"Twenty nine agencies have signed a pledge in support of the All Children - All Families effort so far," Kahn says, and ten of those have completed their agency assessment, the first step toward achieving a seal of recognition from HRC. We applaud these agencies for having the courage to take a public position on this issue and to implement best practices with all families.
The All Children - All Families initiative offers the following tools to agencies seeking to improve their policies and practices:
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