And One More Question…
As a member of the LGBTQ community and the CEO of an adoption agency, I am approached on a regular basis by folks in our community who are curious about adopting from the foster care system. Here are some of the more frequent questions:
- Since the Trump Administration, has anything changed that would stop me from being able to adopt?
California and Sacramento are very LGBTQ friendly towards foster care and adoption. There are legal safeguards and adoption agencies are always actively recruiting families from the LGBTQ community. Anything currently being discussed in Washington DC would not affect your ability to adopt in California.
- Can an LGBTQ couple adopt together?
Yes, in California you can both be listed as the adopted parent. You can also adopt if you are single.
- I am not a perfect person and I am wondering if that will preclude me from being able to adopt?
It’s your life experiences that make you a good person to provide a family for a child. The challenges that you have experienced are what give you the empathy to understand the challenges that a child has experienced and may come to face in the future.
- I want to help a child but I am not sure if I am ready to adopt – are there other ways I can get involved?
You might want to become a mentor through Sierra Forever Families’ Wonder Mentoring Program, which specifically serves foster children in Sacramento. You could also consider becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate or being a foster parent and providing temporary care for a child in need.
- How do I know which agency to choose?
Every agency has orientation sessions. We often recommend that you attend a couple of different orientations to feel which one is the right fit for you and your family. Many agencies will say they are LGBTQ friendly but you should ask some questions beforehand to make sure.
- What about LGBTQ youth living in foster care?
LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the child welfare system. They are the least likely to find a permanent family and are more likely to end up living in a group home. Why? Because there are not enough affirming homes to meet their needs. If you are looking to help a child in your community, then consider being an affirming family for an LGBTQ foster youth.
By Bob Herne, MSW, CEO of Sierra Forever Families