“Every Child Deserves a Family Act” would require non-discrimination in federally funded adoption and foster care services, for pre-adoptive, adoptive and foster parents and children and youth in foster care. We propose spending a year researching how other states have approached the issue, interviewing youth in foster care, holding public forums, and engaging the community generally.
Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity has no place in the provision of adoption and foster care services. New York law has led the country in access to the courts on these important family building modes, however some providers continue to impose obstacles on LGBTQI potential parents. LGBTQI youth in foster care are more vulnerable still to discrimination from agencies, social workers, and foster/adoptive parents. Agencies and county social services departments should be provided with resources outlining legal and practical changes required to ensure equitable treatment of young people in their custody.