HRC’s All Children – All Families (ACAF) project works with child welfare agencies to promote inclusive policies and practices with LGBTQ parents. For the LGBTQ community, choosing an agency that will welcome and respect us is a critically important step, and can often have a direct impact on whether an adoption is successfully completed.
Adoption agencies around the country are stepping up in support of LGBTQ families. With such a large pool of LGBTQ adults that want to be parents, these agencies have seen the benefits of intentional and proactive recruitment efforts targeting LGBTQ folks.
For example, last month, several ACAF participants, including Illinois Center for Adoption and Permanency and the Little City Foundation, joined together with other agencies in Illinois to host a recruitment event for their local LGBTQ community. The agencies are part of “Call to Action: Foster Our Youth Coalition,” a collaborative foster parent recruitment effort to increase the pool of loving and supportive homes for those children in Illinois who are in the most need of an in-home placement and eventually permanency. This coalition focused its first targeted recruitment event on LGBTQ families and families interested in providing affirming homes for LGBTQ youth in care.
Debbie Saucedo from Illinois Center for Adoption and Permanency, noted an increase in interest from same-sex couples in this article about the event, “We've seen, within this last year, a 22-percent increase of same sex couples looking to adopt one of our children who has been listed, which is a great improvement for us.”
HRC applauds the agencies that led this recruitment event; their leadership helps ensure the LGBTQ community is supported in their efforts to build families through foster care and adoption For a list of ACAF participants, click here. Agencies that improve their services for LGBTQ parents are designated “Leaders in Supporting and Serving LGBTQ Families.”
Another example comes out of California where one couple, Chris and William, were having a challenging experience with the first adoption agency they found, and then discovered an inclusive agency, LifeLong Adoptions (LLA) that specializes in domestic infant adoption. LLA’s commitment to the LGBTQ community is evident in their mission statement, “We believe everyone deserves to achieve their dream of starting or continuing a family through adoption.”
With the help of this agency, the couple was able to adopt their baby, Preston and start their family:
“We were so lucky after building a great relationship with our birth mother [that] she allowed us into the delivery room. You never know if that will be a possibility, seeing your child born. She was in labor for a long time. Finally the nurse said, “Are you ready?” We said yes, and there he came... We both held him and when the doctor was done taking care of our birthmother, we took him over to her and told her that we were all a family now.”
Chris and William are proud parents to Preston and are currently saving up for a second adoption.
Check back with HRC’s blog to hear more about how child welfare agencies around the country are stepping up to be welcoming and affirming to LGBTQ families.