REPOST May 30, 2014 by HRC staff
Post submitted by Jonah Lewis, HRC Children, Youth & Families Program Intern.
In honor of National Foster Care Month, HRC has featured stories about LGBT foster care issues, from the perspective of diverse individuals across the U.S. – from Missouri to New York, and Colorado to Michigan throughout May.
This year’s theme was “Building Blocks Toward Permanent Families,” which celebrates the communal efforts required to build support systems for foster children. With this theme in mind the blog series highlighted the many ways we can all support children and youth in foster care.
LGBTQ youth are disproportionally represented in the system; many having been abused or neglected because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
A variety of agencies that support these youth submitted posts.Each agency featured is a designated Leader in Supporting and Serving LGBT Families through HRC’s All Children – All Families Program.
In one post the Southern California Foster Family and Adoption Agency chronicled its unique initiative that partners with LGBT youth organizations like The Trevor Project to provide young LGBTQ foster youth with adult co-mentors who help them to thrive when they enter adulthood.
Many LGBT foster and adoptive parents submitted posts as well. LGBT individuals and couples are an often untapped resource for social service agencies, despite the fact that an estimated two million LGBT individuals and couples are interested in adopting.
LGBT individuals and couples can provide loving and stable homes for youth in need. We heard from many of these families like Angela and Marie of Washington who described adopting their daughter through foster care. Angela and Marie said that despite difficulties, their “family was worth it.”
LGBT foster parents have an incredibly positive impact on the youth they welcome into their homes. “M” a 17 year old foster youth from California wrote in a blog about her lesbian foster mother, where she says ‘Having an LGBT parent has made my life so much better; I wish I could have met her sooner.”
For more posts about LGBTQ youth and parents in foster care, and the agencies that support them, check out thefull list of blog posts from this month, available here.
And while National Foster Care Month may be ending, you can look here to see how HRC continues to advocate for and support LGBT families every day.