In the past year, we have made so much progress toward LGBT equality. My home state of New York passed marriage equality, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” has ended, and DOMA is under unprecedented assault in the U.S. Senate and in the courts. The momentum is there to build on our progress, which is why I’m proud to introduce the Every Child Deserves a Family Act in the U.S. Senate today.
As more and more LGBT couples are getting married and starting families, we have a great opportunity to place children without a family into happy homes, either by adoption or foster care. But unfortunately, discrimination against both adoptive and foster parents based on sexual orientation or gender identity is still pervasive in this country. Currently, five states prohibit same-sex couples from adopting, and there are six states that ban same-sex parents from adopting their partner’s children. In all, 31 states practice some form of discrimination against LGBT families.
Which is why we desperately need this legislation.
The Every Child Deserves a Family Act would prohibit any adoption or foster care agency that receives federal money from discriminating against potential adoptive or foster parents based on sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status. This legislation would open thousands of new foster and adoptive homes to children, ensuring that they are raised in loving families.