Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bans on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Parents Are Bad for Kids and the Nation

By Mary Boo, NACAC assistant director

The Urban Institute recently released Adoption and Foster Care by Lesbian and Gay Parents in the United States, which includes the following key findings:

• An estimated 2 million GLB individuals are interested in adopting.
• An estimated 65,000 adopted children are living with a lesbian or gay parent.
• An estimated 14,000 foster children are living with lesbian or gay parents.

The report also notes that a national ban on GLB foster care would cost the country at least $87 million to $130 million, with costs to individual states ranging from $100,000 to $27 million.

More importantly, the report notes that if a national ban were implemented from 9,000 to 14,000 children would be displaced, severing critical bonds with approved, caring parents and harming the children. Moves in foster care have been shown to be particularly damaging to children, affecting their education, mental health, behavior, and more.

NACAC opposes bans on gay and lesbian foster and adoptive parenting, and this report makes clear that such bans are bad for children and youth. Children and youth in foster care need families to help them grow and thrive. We should not exclude an entire group of parents who can offer them a safe, stable, loving home.


Mike Tikkanen said...

As a long time Minnesota volunteer guardian ad-Litem, I have experienced GLBT parenting of children removed from their birth homes.

I believe that the bruising GLBT people get at the hands of society (face it, it is still largely true) makes them more sensitive to the needs of children that have been abused by their parents and manhandled by (even the best) child protection systems.

It has been my experience that GLBT parents really do empathize and better understand abused and neglected children better than most of the general population.

At the very least, it is only fair to appreciate that the need for more committed foster and adoptive families is genuine.

To deny abused and neglected children caring homes is to add insult to injury.

Oprah said...

Well written article.