November was National Adoption Awareness Month. To raise awareness about adoption in the LGBTQ community, MomsRising partnered with Family Equality Council, Children’s Action Network, and PFLAG to host a tweetchat about adoption by LGBTQ adults. If you missed out on the tweetchat, no worries! Below we have provided the questions and answers from the event.
How many children are currently available for adoption in the US?
At the end of 2015, 111,820 kids in foster care were waiting to be adopted. In 2015, only 53,549 children in foster care were adopted.
Which states allow LGBTQ individuals or same-sex couples to adopt?
Check out this map to learn about LGBTQ foster and adoption laws in each state.
How does a child enter the adoption system and what is the average length of time a child is there?
About ⅔ of children enter the foster care system due to neglect and ⅓ enter due to drug abuse by a parent. Children are often in the foster care system for at least two years.
Who can become an adoptive parent?
Most any single adult or married couple is eligible to adopt. Did you know: Same-sex couples are four times more likely to adopt and six times more likely to foster than opposite-sex couples.
What risks do youth face if they age out of care without finding a permanent home?
Youth who age out of foster care face numerous challenges. Half of the youth will be homeless for the first two year after they exit the system; half of the youth will be unemployed; and about one-third of the youth will depend on public assistance. Youth who don’t find a permanent home are also at greater risk of homelessness, drug use, using self-harm, and incarceration.
What is the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, and why is it necessary?
The Every Child Deserves a Family Act (ECDF) would prevent federally funded adoption agencies from discriminating against same-sex couples and unmarried adults that want to adopt or foster. It would also protect LGBTQ youth that are in the foster system. However, it is not yet law.
Does ECDF affect private adoptions?
ECDF only applies to providers receiving federal dollars to perform adoption and foster care services.
What resources are available to learn more about ECDF?
PFLAG has a great summary and talking points on ECDF. You can access the resources HERE.
Where have adoption and foster care license to discriminate laws passed and how do they impact children?
Thirteen states have no protections against discrimination for LGBTQ youth receiving adoption services, and twenty-four states do not protect transgender youth. In fact, this year alone, the number of states with laws allowing child welfare agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ children and potential parents has doubled.
What is the Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign?
The Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign ensures that the child’s best interest is the priority, as it should be. It works to strike down discriminatory practices that prevent members of the LGBTQ community from adopting children. Members of the LGBTQ community that want to provide youth with a safe and stable family should be allowed to do so.
You can learn more about, and join(!), the campaign HERE.