Every child deserves a family



U.S. Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) introduced a bill October 15 seeking to end discrimination against gays in adoption proceedings. The following are some excerpts from his remarks:

“Currently, over 65,000 adopted children and 14,000 “foster children are living with a gay or lesbian parent. Studies suggest that upward of 2 million gay and lesbian individuals are interested in adopting or fostering a child. Yet, statewide discriminatory bans and the practices of individual adoption agencies have resulted in fewer children being placed in safe and permanent homes.

“Congress invests over $8 billion in the child welfare system each year and we should not accept policies that use Federal funds to enact barriers to adoption and close the door to thousands of potential homes. Multiple studies have found that adopted and foster children raised by gay and lesbian parents fare just as well as their peers being raised by heterosexual parents….

“That is why I am introducing the ‘Every Child Deserves a Family Act.’ This legislation would simply prohibit any entity that receives Federal child welfare funds from denying or delaying adoption or foster care placements based solely on the prospective parent’s marital status or sexual orientation. States and child welfare agencies that fail to end discriminatory practices would face financial penalties. This is the same approach that put an end to race discrimination in adoption and foster care placements.

Footnote: Arkansas and Florida prohibit adoption by LGBT people; Utah prohibits adoption by gay couples.

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