National Foster Care Month Emphasizes Every Child Deserves a Family

by EDGE

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday May 5, 2015

Family Equality Council has announced its 2015 National Adoption Month Campaign to coincide with the re-introduction of the Every Child Deserves a Family Act in May. The initiative will draw attention to the policies and lack of protections that prevent youth in care from finding forever homes.

"Discriminatory foster care and adoption laws as well as the lack of explicit language prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status and religious affiliation are limiting placement options for youth in care," said Gabriel Blau, Family Equality Council Executive Director. "We have a viable option to address the shortage of homes available for youth in care: allow prospective LGBTQ people to adopt from the foster care system nationwide. There are five times more prospective LGBTQ parents than there are youth in foster care awaiting homes. And LGBTQ adults are three times as likely to adopt a foster child. Let's get these youth in loving homes."

Throughout May, Family Equality Council will use the National Foster Care Month campaign to highlight stories from LGBTQ parents who have legally adopted and/or became foster parents. The stories will illustrate how the homes have changed the lives of their children who otherwise would not have found families.

Supporters will share adoption and foster care stories, post photos and graphics through social media channels using the hashtag #ECDF and join the Every Child Deserves a Family Act re-introduction TweetChat, May 19 at 2:00 p.m./ET with lead sponsors Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). Constituents will learn more about the bill and how to urge their members of Congress to support the legislation.

There are currently more than 100,000 kids available for adoption -- and every year, over 23,000 youth aged out of the foster care system. Youth who age out of the system are at a higher risk of homelessness, being trafficked, unemployment, not completing high school, and increased involvement with the criminal justice system.

"By ending discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer prospective parents in all 50 states, the potential parent pool would rise by almost two million people," Blau added. "We invite people to join with Family Equality Council in educating our communities about this opportunity that could help combat the challenge of limited homes for youth in care, removing barriers to prospective LGBTQ parents adopting in every state."


To learn more about National Foster Care Month visit: www.familyequality.org.