Every Child Deserves a Family Act

As evidenced by some recently proposed legislation, United States Senator from New York Kirsten Gillibrand believes states that ban LGBT people from adopting or fostering are doing children a disservice.
Adoption STAR clients Joe Vitale, Rob Talmas and their adorable son Cooper were planning on joining Adoption STAR staff, clients, and supporters for our big “15 and Fabulous” event on 5/16/15. They were ultimately unable to make it, but as Joe himself put it, “We had a good excuse for not being there!”

Joe shared that U.S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand had invited him and the rest of his family to be at a series of events on 5/16/15 and 5/17/15 that focused on her “Every Child Deserves a Family Act.”

Here’s some information about the proposed legislation from the Senator’s website dated 5/19/15:

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today introduced new legislation to bar any entity that receives federal funds and is involved in adoption or foster care placement from discriminating against parents based on sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status. Though as many as two million LGBT people nationally would adopt if able, many states ban same-sex couples from adopting or fostering children. Nationwide, there are an estimated 402,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, and 23,000 children will “age out” before finding a permanent home. Congress invests more than $8 billion into the child welfare system each year. In New York, there were over 22,000 children in foster care last year, and the state spent more than $400 million on related services.

“We need to support the loving, caring and responsible adults who want to welcome children in need of families into their homes,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This bill removes outdated and discriminatory barriers that have kept thousands of children within the welfare system instead connecting them with devoted parents. By passing the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, we will finally provide the protections LGBT people need to adopt and foster children across the country.”

The Every Child Deserves A Family Act would protect qualified potential parents by prohibiting any entity that receives federal funds and is involved in adoption or foster care placements from discriminating on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Every Child Deserves A Family Act would save $100 million over five years and just under $400 million over the course of 10 years. The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Al Franken (D-MN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA) Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Kudos to Senator Gillibrand for introducing this important piece of prospective legislation, and to the Talmas/Vitale family for being ardent supporters of the Senator’s efforts.