Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) cosponsored the Every Child Deserves a Family Act to help give more children a loving home by ending current discriminatory laws that allow organizations to discriminate against prospective adoptive and foster parents based on sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or religion. This legislation would also prohibit discrimination against children and youth in the foster care system on the basis of religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation, and it would ensure that they are not subject to harmful practices, such as conversion therapy.
“No child should ever be denied placement with a loving adoptive family or foster parents because of religious discrimination or the anti-LGBTQ policies of a federally-funded entity. These exclusions are not the measure of a good parent. This legislation would ensure taxpayer dollars aren’t funding organizations that discriminate against prospective parents or the children in their care. I’m proud to join Senator Gillibrand in this effort to protect foster children and help them find a loving home.”
The Every Child Deserves a Family Act was introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. It is cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
According to the Family Equality Council, there are more than 440,000 children in the foster care system. 120,000 of these children are waiting for a permanent home. More than 20,000 children age out of care each year and don’t have a permanent home or adequate support or resources.
Specifically, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act would:
- Prohibit organizations receiving federal funding from discriminating against children, youth, families, and individuals on the basis of religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), and marital status in the administration and provision of child welfare services.
- Ban conversion therapy for children participating in child welfare programs receiving federal funding.
- Promote safety, well-being, and permanency for LGBTQ children in foster care.