Letters from a Lesbian September 2014

On Adoption

Dear World,

In early August, a new bill was introduced to congress that would actually prohibit members of the LGBT community from adopting or fostering children on the basis of religious freedom.

Representative Mike Kelly from Pennsylvania, and Senator Mike Enzi from Wyoming introduced the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act to Congress. It allows adoption and foster care providers to refuse services on the basis of their personal religious beliefs and objections. Not only does this allow organizations to refuse adoption and foster services to the LGBT community, but it also allows them to refuse services to couples and families of other faiths, as well as single parents. Should any potential adopter deviate even in the slightest bit to the organization or provider’s belief or idea of what constitutes a family, they will be refused services.

Needless to say, this has potentially horrific implications for the LGBT community. This really hurts the country as a whole. Suddenly, Jewish families may be refused adoption by Christian programs. A minority may be dismissed as a parent to a Caucasian child, and vice versa. This bill is incredibly dangerous.

Even more so from the aspect of the children’s needs. Look at the number of children that are already in dire need of a home. The statistics of adoption versus need are mind-boggling. This bill, if it passes, promises to make those statistics worse…exponentially.

We as an LGBT community, but also as the Hispanic community really need to raise our voice against this. This bill would allow not just LGBTs to be refused services, but also Hispanics should our race, culture, or religion differ from that of the provider, person, or organization.

As members of the LGBT community, we are already denied parental opportunities by certain countries. My wife and I have considered adoption or foster care, so we’ve done a small bit of research. Many countries exclude us as potential adopters simply because we are both female.

As a Latina, I am well aware of the needs of Hispanic children. So many of our home countries are burdened with the number of children who need a roof over their head. I have seen my own family members reach out and adopt children from Latin countries. My wife and I would like to be able to do the same. Now, not only are we limited to adopt from certain countries, but the country in which we live may potentially reject us as well.

Realistically, it is not we who suffer the most from such bigoted bills. It’s the children. More children here in the States as well as abroad would remain homeless.  Countless children would remain within the system and would be denied the chances to have a loving family take them in and give them the life they deserve. The adoption and foster care programs are over-populated and under-funded as it is already. This bill would only make a bad situation worse.

The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act is actually oppositional of its title. It is certainly not inclusive. Nor does it have the welfare of the children as its main priority. As a race and as a community we need to raise our voices and stop this bill from passing legislation. This bill is a detriment to our heritage, the LGBT community, our children, and our country. Our community and our government have been taking some wonderful strides in the right direction. We cannot afford to have this bill destroy our families or hurt the already needy homeless and family-less children.

Live life in your own special way,

Lauren

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