July 2012, Movement Advancement Project, Family Equality Council, Center for American Progress: This report, “Securing Legal Ties for Children Living in LGBT Families,” is the third in a companion series to the “All Children Matter” report. Focusing specifically on the impact of state marriage and parenting laws on children living in LGBT families, this companion report provides a framework for state policymakers to draft, pass, and enact new laws that protect children living in contemporary family structures. It also includes recommendations for amending, repealing, or overturning archaic and discriminatory laws that leave children without the security of legal ties to their parents, or without the loving, “forever” homes that all children need and deserve. The report is divided into four key areas. In this introduction, we provide an overview of the diversity of LGBT families: who they are, where they live, and the economic realities they face. The next section highlights how the multiple paths to parenthood for LGBT parents intersect with archaic laws and practices that often leave children without legal ties to both parents. The third section focuses on how this lack of legal ties harms children being raised in LGBT families. The report concludes with a series of policy recommendations for designing comprehensive state-level parental recognition laws. Link to Policy Guide
July 9, 2012; American Bar Association: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth are, unfortunately, overrepresented in the child-welfare system, juvenile-justice system, and homeless population. While involved in these systems or living on the streets, LGBTQ youth experience more harassment, violence, and rejection, and engage in more suicide attempts, than their non-LGBTQ counterparts. The best practices for providing high-quality representation of the unique LGBTQ youth population was discussed during the March 13, 2012, 1.5-hour webinar and telephone conference “Recognizing and Addressing LGBTQ Issues in Your Children’s Law Caseload.” Secondary Link
National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections: Many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or questioning (LGBTQ) youth fear that their families will reject them if they disclose their sexual identity. LGBTQ youth continue to suffer from the effects of discrimination within the child welfare system. They can find themselves in group homes where they endure peer bullying that is often tacitly or expressly condoned by staff. Foster parents may pressure LGBTQ youth to somehow change or suppress their sexual identities or may send them back to their agencies. Eventually, such foster parents become known to their agencies, which accommodate them by not sending them LGBTQ youth. Unsurprisingly, permanency is rarely considered an option for these youth. Link to Information Packet Contains a Fact Sheet, Best Practice Tips and a long list of links to additional resources to help with this population.