Friday, October 28, 2011

Gillibrand Introduces Bill to Ban Discrimination Against Prospective LGBT Adoptive and Foster Parents

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Friday, Oct. 28, introduced a bill that would prevent any agency that receives federal funding from disqualifying prospective adoptive or foster parents solely on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.

“New York is a leader on ensuring that any family can adopt children and sets a great example for the rest of the country,” said Gillibrand in a statement that announced the introduction of the Every Child Deserves a Family Act. She pointed out that New York increased its pool of prospective foster parents by 128,000 when the state eliminated all LGBT-specific barriers.

"This legislation would open thousands of new foster and adoptive homes to children ensuring they are raised in loving families,” added Gillibrand.

Utah, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina and Michigan currently bar same-sex couples from adopting children, while six others prohibit gay and lesbian parents from adopting their partner's children. Gillibrand points out that more than two dozen other states do not specifically address treatment of prospective LGBT foster and adoptive parents.

“We must support all qualified adults who are interested in providing a nurturing, adoptive home—regardless of their marital status or sexual orientation," said Linda Spears, vice president of policy and public affairs for the Child Welfare League of America. "Having a real life, caring parent is incredibly important for ensuring a child’s success. Sen. Gillibrand’s bill represents progress for these children whose goal is to simply be loved.”

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