Sign the petition: Protect LGBTQ children and families from discrimination
The right-wing attack on LGBTQ children and families continues.
Conservative state officials across the country are proposing and passing legislation allowing child welfare providers to refuse to place children in the foster care system with LGBTQ parents.1 Worse, these extremists are providing licenses to discriminate to state agencies that receive federal funds.
Denying innocent children access to loving families through state-sponsored bigotry is outrageous, dangerous and unacceptable – and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Sylvia Burwell can do something about it.
Tell Secretary Burwell: Issue a mandate prohibiting child placement services that receive federal funding from discriminating against children and adults on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
There are more than 415,000 children in the foster care system. More than 22,000 of them age out each year without finding forever families, leaving them extremely vulnerable to homelessness and poverty. 2 Meanwhile, an estimated 2 million LGBTQ Americans want to be foster parents or adopt and discriminatory laws, policies and practices block them from doing so.3
It’s not only LGBTQ people seeking to foster or adopt who are at risk of discrimination. Too often, LGBTQ children in the foster care system have no protection from anti-gay bigotry that is committed by workers within the foster care system or by families with whom they are placed.4
This anti-LGBTQ hatred and bigotry toward children and adults participating in the foster care system is dangerous. We must ensure that every child in the foster care system has the best opportunity to find a safe, stable and loving home.
While HHS has taken some steps during Obama’s presidency to support equality, it hasn’t issued a mandate that would establish a nationwide standard of nondiscrimination principles defining how child placement agencies must work with LGBTQ youth in the system and LGBTQ prospective foster and adoptive parents. Without this mandate, child placement agencies are still free to discriminate using federal tax dollars.
In the remaining days of Pres. Obama’s term, Sec. Burwell needs to use her authority to take a clear stand against bigotry and prevent more children and families from being harmed.
Tell Secretary Burwell to protect LGBTQ families and children from discrimination.
Thank you for speaking out for LGBTQ equality.
1. “Joint Adoption Laws,” Family Equality Council, Sept. 08, 2016.
2. “The AFCARS Report,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau, July 2015.
3. Gary Gates, Lee M.V. Badgett, Jennifer Ehrle Macomber and Kate Chambers, “Adoption and Foster Care by Lesbian and Gay Parents in the United States,” Urban Institute, March 27, 2007.
4. “Sexual and Gender Minority Youth in Foster Care: Assessing Disproportionality and Disparities in Los Angeles, The Williams Institute, Aug. 2014.