– Barbara Jordan
Public discussion about American families often assumes the nation is largely made up of married straight couples raising their biological children, yet less than a quarter of all U.S. households fall into this category. Today’s children may be raised by grandparents, single parents, stepparents, aunts, uncles or foster parents. Their parents may be married or unmarried; they may be straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
A family unit is comprised of individuals who love and care for one another. Lesbian and gay parents are successfully raising children—through birth, adoption, or as foster parents—across the country. These children deserve the security that comes with strong legal ties to their parents.
Providing all children with a loving and supportive home is in the best interest of our society and all of our children. Allowing politics to stand in the way of a child’s well being is a lose-lose situation for families and communities.
The recent financial strain faced by most states and agencies has put greater pressure on America’s foster care system. Now more than ever, children in government care need solid and supportive homes.
Emphasize common ground:
- Children of lesbian and gay parents have the same emotional development and peer relationships as children with straight parents. The quality of the parent/child relationship, not the parent’s orientation, is the most important factor. ((American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, “Facts for Families: Children with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Parents”, 2011: http://bit.ly/GRXN3G.))
- Roughly two million children are being raised by LGBT parents. ((Movement Advancement Project (MAP), Family Equality Council, Center for American Progress “LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a Glance,” January 2012: http://bit.ly/w1FYhg.))
- African American children are far more likely to be raised by non-parent relatives. Many African Americans know the challenges of being part of a non-conventional family. ((National Association of Black Social Workers, “Kinship Care”: http://www.nabsw.org/mserver/KimshipCare.aspx.))
- Leading child health organizations agree that qualified lesbian and gay parents should be allowed to adopt, including: the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the National Association of Social Workers and the Child Welfare League of America. ((Movement Advancement Project (MAP), ACLU, Family Equality Council, Human Rights Campaign, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, “An Ally’s Guide to Talking About Adoption by LGBT Parents,” 2012: http://bit.ly/GRXUMR.))