Two House Representatives recently reintroduced a bill that would decrease bias within the foster system, giving more children a chance to join a loving family. Image via ProudParenting.com
It’s no secret that while the intention of the Foster Care system in the US is good, there are many problems within it. One such problem is that many adoption agencies will not place children with same-sex prospective parents despite the parents being fully capable of taking care of children. This may be a thing of the past, reports The Advocate, as two House Representatives, John Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia, and Jenniffer González-Colón, a Republican from Puerto Rico, recently reintroduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which seeks to end discrimination against LGBTQ people who wish to adopt or foster children, as well as prevent LGBTQ children from being subjected to conversion therapy.
Lewis, in reintroducing this bill, brings up many great points. He says “Too many children dream of a stable, loving family… many adults want to open their homes and their hearts” but are prevented from doing so as some officials say that those adults don’t practice the right religion or are attracted to the wrong sex. The Every Child Deserves a Family Act would make it so that children will be placed with the best fit for them, regardless of whether the adoption seekers are in a same-sex relationship or their religious affiliation. This is long overdue, as especially now, more and more people are realizing that LGBTQ individuals are perfectly capable of doing things that straight people do. It’s not like we’re a different species after all.
This bill has been up for consideration since 2009 but no other previous versions have included banning conversion therapy. This new version of the bill calls conversion therapy a form of discrimination and brings to light the fact that LGBTQ people are overrepresented in the foster care system and that many of whom feel safer in the streets than in the system, so it is imperative that they are protected from conversion therapy.
Stan Sloan, CEO of the Family Equality Council, commended the bill and commented on the fact that in ten states it is legal for adoption agencies to turn away same-sex couples and that if this bill is passed “will end this discrimination, and help ensure more children find the loving, forever homes they deserve.”
The fact that this bill has been in consideration for a decade isn’t really a good sign but by having it reintroduced, it will get people talking about it. There is no logical reason for adoption agencies to deny parenthood to a perfectly capable couple just because they happen to be gay or the “wrong” religion. Children in the foster care system deserve to feel safe and protected and the Every Child Deserves a Family Act may just help them achieve those feelings.