HRC releases guide on engaging prospective trans an non-binary foster and adoptive parents

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation released Promising Practices for Serving Transgender & Non-Binary Foster & Adoptive Parents, a new guide designed to help foster care and adoption agencies recruit, certify and support qualified transgender and non-binary adults to become resource parents for young people who need safe, welcoming homes.  

“Discrimination and disrespectful treatment too often create significant barriers for transgender and non-binary people wishing to become resource parents. All parents, no matter their gender identity, deserve the same opportunities to welcome youth into their families, and this detailed resource provides agencies with the information and tools they need to make that a reality,” Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC’s senior vice president for Programs, Research, and Training, said.

The guide offers information on inclusive policies, practices, terminology and the current legal landscape for LGBTQ prospective parents. It also provides safe and affirming techniques for trans-inclusive data collection, recruitment and training for agency staff and volunteers. Its release coincides with National Adoption Month, which is marked every November.

Watch a webinar about the report.

The guide also features the personal accounts of transgender and non-binary adoptive parents across the country. A transgender foster dad from California shares the fears he had before becoming a foster parent:  “I was afraid of the process because I was certain I would have been humiliated for being transgender. In the past, I had to endure a lot of negative attitudes and verbal harassment simply for being transgender, and I was afraid of disclosing my gender history to my case manager for similar reasons. Since there were no other visible transgender and non-binary foster parents, I wasn’t sure what I was going to encounter.”

An estimated two million LGBTQ adults in the U.S. are interested in adoption, but the LGBTQ community often remains an untapped resource when it comes to finding families for children and youth in foster care. This guide will help agencies increase their pool of prospective foster and adoptive parents by ensuring they have the policies and practices in place to welcome and support LGBTQ resource families.

HRC's All Children – All Families project promotes LGBTQ cultural competency among child welfare agencies through innovative resources, including an online agency self-assessment tool, comprehensive staff training, free technical assistance and more. Agencies across the country recognize the importance of this work and use ACAF resources to improve practice with LGBTQ youth and families.

Download the report. Click here to read the report.

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