AdoptUSKids.org website has added some new tools for prospective families searching for adoption matches online.
The site’s general questionnaire for prospective parents now asks: “Would you be willing to consider providing a home for an LGBTQ-identified youth?
Instead of answering “yes” or “no,” this new feature includes the option of clicking a button with either “willing to consider” or “no.”
There is an additional option to click for more information. A box appears and it states:
LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning. The Q can also stand for queer. How you answer this question neither qualifies nor disqualifies you from adopting. Your answer will help workers determine whether you are a potential match for specific children.
Information like this benefits everyone, and I applaud AdoptUSKids.org for adding this option to the registration process. Here’s why:
- We need to educate the prospective adoptive parent about youth who identify themselves.
- We need caseworkers to feel more comfortable in this disclosure for better matching.
- We need more prospective parents to tell people they want to provide a loving home regardless of their sexual identity.
- We need to support LGBTQ kids who are struggling and help them survive this.
I met my adoptive kids online, all four of them, after I registered on AdoptUSKids.org almost 10 years ago. Each year, I update my profile just to stay current and keep in touch with caseworkers around the country for the Card Shower Project.
I think that many open-minded parents will consider adopting LGBTQ youth. I hope that more open-minded people, like me, will join in the adoption circle and consider lending a hand in raising these kids. Studies have shown that adopted straight youth with lesbian or gay parents are more open-minded, accepting, and understanding, and I believe the inverse will prove itself to be true over time.
Social workers, adoption agencies and foster parents need to prepare and educate themselves about what it means to be a gay or a lesbian adoptee. Adoption professionals need to stay neutral about their negative feelings toward youth revealing and identifying themselves as “different.”
We need to let these kids know: It’s okay, we like you, and we care about what happens to you. Honesty in placement means better matching for the entire adoption triad.
It’s important to remember that during any part of the placement process, case workers should not be allowed to let personal fears or issues based on someone’s identity get in the way or stifle their individuality and purpose. Agencies need to guard against the “Kim Davisses” of adoption agencies.
Many agencies are collaborating around the country to establish helpful ways to find placements for LGBTQ youth (here are 20 things your agency can do in this arena.) I encourage prospective adoptive parents to consider checking the box under “willing to consider,” and I encourage agencies to support youth who come out and seek support. They are courageous.
Can having a unique family empower positive gender equality, based on love and understanding? I believe so. Just look at all the Pride … the rainbow flags waving and Human Rights bumper stickers on cars, and let those symbols guide your heart.