Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA) re-introduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (H.R. 4608), a federal bill that would increase the number of qualified individuals eligible to become adoptive or foster parents by restricting federal funding to states employing discriminatory practices in adoption and foster care placements based on sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.
There are currently 500,000 children in foster care across the U.S., 120,000 of whom are available for adoption. Each year, approximately 25,000 of these children “age out” of the system – never finding permanent, stable and loving homes of their own. Yet while there is a shortage of qualified foster and adoptive parents for these children in need, some states categorically exclude thousands of prospective parents simply because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status. Indeed, a staggering 72% of children in foster care across the U.S. live in states that restrict foster and adoptive placements based on sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status. This is not in the best interest of the thousands of children in the foster care system. Nor is it the best that America can do for these kids.
The Every Child Deserves a Family Act is a necessary and critical step in increasing the number of qualified individuals eligible to become adoptive or foster parents, and that is why passing this bill is a top policy priority for Family Equality Council. Thirty years of research have proven and all the major child welfare organizations support what we already know firsthand: that children raised by same-sex parents have the same advantages, developmental cycles and social and psychological adjustments as children raised by opposite-sex parents.
Contact your Representatives and ask them to support the Every Child Deserves a Family Act.