Wednesday, May 4, 2011

PFLAG National Co-Hosts Briefing for Every Child Deserves a Family

Yesterday, Representative Pete Stark, ranking member on the Ways & Means Health Subcommittee reintroduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, H.R. 1681. Thirty-three Representatives are co-sponsors of the bill and a growing coalition of leading child welfare, civil rights and legal organizations are supporting the legislation. As reported yesterday, the bill removes discriminatory barriers in the adoption and foster care process for prospective LGBT parents and single adults, therefore opening up new homes to foster youth.

To celebrate the bill’s reintroduction and to honor National Foster Care Month, PFLAG National, the Family Equality Council and the National Black Justice Coalition co-hosted a briefing for the bill, along with a wide range of child welfare experts and foster care alums who expressed the urgency of the bill’s passage. The panel included:
  • Linda Spears, Vice President, Policy and Public Affairs for the Child Welfare League of America
  • Judith Sandalow, Executive Director for the Children’s Law Center
  • Gary L. Flowers, Executive Director & CEO, Black Leadership Forum, Inc.
  • Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., President of the Hip Hop Caucus
  • David Hansell, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services
At the briefing, Representative Pete Stark also made an appearance and stated, “We now spend more than $7 billion per year on a flawed foster care system that doesn’t serve all the children who are in it, and permits discrimination against capable, loving potential parents and children. It’s time for a federal fix to this critical child welfare and civil rights issue. Every child deserves the lifelong benefits that come from growing up in a stable home.”

At a press conference leading up to the briefing, our very own PFLAG National Executive Director, Jody M. Huckaby, had the opportunity to make a few remarks. Please view this video to watch him talk about the urgency of passing ECDF today:

Recent attempts have been made in states – including Virginia, Arizona and Illinois – to further restrict who can adopt, making the Every Child Deserves a Family Act particularly timely. The United States currently has an uneven system of state laws, a number of which put up barriers to becoming a foster or adoptive parent based on one’s sexual orientation, marital status or gender identity.

A handful of states affirmatively allow same-sex couples to adopt jointly, while most states are silent on the issue. ECDF would correct the patchwork system in the best interests of the children involved.

To learn more about the bill, please visit our ECDF action center and help us move equality forward for all by expressing your support for the bill to your Representative today.


Kylie Seraphin said...

Yes, that is the message we also send to everyone who wants a better future for the children who are orphaned. foster care bristol is among the many orgs in Britain that makes a difference for the orphan children's future.

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