Washington DC- Family Equality Council has announced its 2014 "Allies for Adoption" Campaign to coincide with National Adoption Month in November. The initiative will draw attention to the obstacles LGBTQ people confront when trying to secure legal ties for their families. In the majority of states across the country, LGBTQ people encounter barriers when trying to adopt a partner's child, jointly adopt through a private agency or when attempting to serve as foster or adoptive parents to youth in care.
"LGBTQ parents have raised more than six million children across this country, yet we still face hurdles when trying to create and protect our families, including a lack of access to second-parent adoption for many parents. The patchwork of state adoption laws and policies leave our families vulnerable and fail to take into consideration the best interests of our children," said Gabriel Blau, Family Equality Council Executive Director.
"In addition to protecting our children, we also have a crisis in this country one that we can fix. We are currently failing the 400,000 kids in the U.S. foster care system. More than 23,000 of these kids age out each year because there is a critical shortage of qualified parents. With a pool of two million potential parents, the LGBTQ community is a deep untapped resource for foster youth. Right now there are five-times as many prospective LGBTQ parents than there are youth in foster care awaiting homes. Until we remove barriers to adoption by LGBTQ people in every state, millions of children won't get the chance to dine a forever family."
Throughout National Adoption Month Family Equality Council will highlight the stories of LGBTQ families formed through adoption, showcasing the variety of ways in which adoption touches the lives of LGBTQ parents and their children, while emphasizing the shared important role adoption played in ensuring legal protections and recognition for their families.
Constituents will share adoption stories on Family Equality Council's Family Room Blog, post photos and graphics through social media channels using the hashtag: #Allies4Adoption, and join FEC's Thunderclap "online flash mob" to collectively send messages of support for adoption and foster care equality throughout the country. Today, in a world where 32 states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples to marry, LGBTQ people still face barriers — including blatant discrimination — in creating and protecting their families through adoption.
"By eliminating existing roadblocks, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer parents and prospective parents in all 50 states will be better equipped to create and protect their families and the more than 400,000 youth in foster care, 100,000 of whom are available for adoption, will have a much better chance of finding their forever families. " Blau said. "We urge everyone to join with Family Equality Council in educating our communities not only about how we can work together to find forever homes for all of our nation's foster youth, but also about how access to adoption is critical to the LGBTQ family community.
To learn more about "Allies for Adoption" visit: www.familyequality.org/get_informed/families_for_all/ .