With more than 400,000 children in foster care and over 20,000 of them aging out every year, there’s an urgent need for safe, loving, qualified homes. But in many states, it’s still legal to turn away qualified prospective parents just because they are LGBTQ+, single, or belong to a religious minority.
By banning discrimination in child welfare, the John Lewis Every Child Deserves a Family Act (ECDFA) increases the number of foster and adoptive homes available to youth so that they have the best possible chance at finding a safe, stable, and loving home.
ECDFA would also prevent discrimination against any youth in foster care because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTQ+ youth are overrepresented in child welfare systems where they are more likely to suffer from consistent harassment and abuse in foster care, juvenile justice settings, and homeless shelters. According to the American Association of Pediatrics, discriminatory laws against LGBTQ+ youth has proven to be “harmful to [their] social-emotional health and may have lifelong consequences.”
By requiring federally-funded child welfare services and staff training to be affirming of a youth’s identity, ensuring that they find families that mirror or accept them, and requiring data collection on LGBTQ+ youth in care, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act promotes the wellbeing and safety of children and youth in foster care.
Together, let’s stand against discrimination and demand equality now. Send a message directly to your Senators and US Representative.