Thanks to the religious right, we’ve been seeing a number of states try to ban LGBTQ people from adopting children, deciding it’s better for children to stay in the foster care system than be placed with loving families. However, there’s one state that isn’t falling for the homophobic lies. Not only is adoption in Connecticut open to LGBTQ families, the state wants to increase the number of queer families adopting children.
Connecticut currently has 4,300 children in state care. Half of them are unlikely to return to their biological families. According to Joette Katz, of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families (DCF), there are currently about 100 LGBTQ families who have adopted children in the state, but she’d like to increase that number to at least 250 by January.
Citing a 2013 study from the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy which says same-sex couples are four times more likely to adopt and six times more likely to foster, Katz said, “There are hundreds, if not thousands, of families that have a lot of love to give.”
Unfortunately, in states like Georgia, legislation has been submitted to allow adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ people. Thankfully, while many of these bills ultimately fail, they get surprisingly far. The Georgia bill passed (along party lines, of course) in the state senate, but thankfully failed in the house.
And in Kansas, the state’s Department of Children and Families endorsed a bill to block queer parents from adopting. The bill is written so broadly as to allow discrimination based on religion, age and marital status. It’s worth noting that Kansas is working to block potential adoptions despite being overwhelmed with new children being placed into state custody. The state governor signed the bill into law last week.
That’s why the adoption in Connecticut decision is so refreshing: It’s common sense. Or as Shannon Smith, a man who adopted two young brothers with his husband six years ago put it, “I think it’s nice DCF is pulling out the stops to really let people know, ‘Hey, your love is just as good as anybody else’s. Don’t listen to that other garbage that everyone is saying. If you’re a great parent, we’re going to get you a kid.'”