For Immediate Release: June 5th, 2019
Media Contact: Lora L. Tucker
Every Child Deserves a Family Act Introduced Today by Congressman John Lewis (D-GA-5) in the U.S. House
Ft. Lauderdale - CenterLink welcomes the bipartisan introduction of the Every Child Deserves a Family (ECDF) Act of 2019 in the U.S. House of Representatives, and thanks Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) for his dedicated leadership on behalf of youth in the child welfare system and prospective adoptive and foster parents and families touched by child welfare services. The companion Senate bill, led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), will be introduced soon.
There are over 123,000 children in our foster care system who are currently waiting to be adopted yet less than half of these children will find their forever families in the next year. Discriminatory practices in states that allow foster care and adoption agencies to turn away qualified parents because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or marital status deny these children the loving homes they deserve. Passage of the Every Child Deserves a Family Act will end this discrimination and open more homes to children.
The Every Child Deserves a Family Act will also improve services to youth who identify as LGBTQ. It prohibits taxpayer-funded adoption, foster care and child welfare agencies from discriminating against children, families, and individuals based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion and marital status. Additionally, the bill bans conversion therapy in foster care and adoption agencies.
The ECDF Act affirms the core American value of equality for all and protects LGBTQ families from discrimination in child welfare systems. Congress must uphold the will of the American people by passing the Every Child Deserves a Family Act. CenterLink stands with the over 500 child welfare, faith, civil rights, and LGBTQ organizations who form the Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign, which seeks to end discrimination in foster care, adoption, and child welfare, and to promote affirming care for all foster youth.
CenterLink develops strong, sustainable LGBT community centers and builds a thriving center network that creates healthy, vibrant communities. Founded in 1994, CenterLink plays an important role in addressing the challenges centers face by helping them to improve their organizational and service delivery capacity, access public resources, and engage their regional communities in the grassroots social justice movement. www.lgbtcenters.org.