By now, you’ve no doubt seen the love and support we’re sharing this month in celebration of Pride. Perhaps you’ve wondered why an open adoption agency chooses to participate and recognize our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
We raise our voices and celebrate LGBTQ families because our work is not done until more LGBTQ families are able to freely and openly welcome adoptive foster care children into their hearts and homes. Our work is not done until more LGBTQ families can adopt without discrimination or fear.
It seems like for every gain in gay rights, a new battle rears its ugly head. Just recently, Oklahoma passed legislation that discriminates against LGBTQ families wanting to adopt. Oklahoma – a state that has 500 children awaiting adoption.
In May, Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer signed into law a bill that allows agencies to refuse placement of children “for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement of such child would violate such agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs.” There are 458 children in Kansas awaiting adoption, and 7,192 children in foster care.
We know that taxpayers often foot the bill for this kind of discrimination, too. This is a blatant blurring of a separation of church and state, as most agencies and states cite not wanting to violate their moral and religious beliefs.
Imagine the loving homes these children could have if these states and agencies were held accountable for discrimination. Agencies and states unwilling to creating barrier-free access for LGBTQ families should be held accountable.
So how do we help protect these families? First, we welcome them into the Choice family. Nearly 25 percent of our families are LGBTQ, and we’ve set a goal to increase that number to 50 percent. And we fight for all families. We do not shy away from hate. We’re armed with well-documented research, honest stories of our own, and the inherent truth that love makes a family. It’s a part of why the Human Rights Campaign gave us Leader in Supporting and Serving LGBTQ Families status.
But Pride isn’t about Choice. It’s about amplifying the voices of the countless LGBTQ families across the nation, those who have been fortunate enough to adopt or foster, and those who continue to wait. It’s about celebrating the truth that love makes a family, over and over again. You are supported. You are loved. You are worthy.
Happy Pride, all.