As a member of the Amara family, you know our mission is to prioritize the wellbeing of children in foster care and adoptees; and support the families who love them. And who are the “families who love them”? Foster families, birth/first families, and adoptive families; as well as kinship caregivers. All people need and deserve a strong, stable, loving family to help us grow into strong, stable, and loving adults. What that family looks like is not important – what’s important is the commitment to caring for kids and the support from ones’ community along the way. Your support is invaluable as we walk alongside children and families.
That’s why the federal administration’s recent proposal, through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is so harmful. This new HHS rule allows agencies, including child welfare agencies, that receive federal money to discriminate against LGBTQ people and people of minority faiths. In practice, an agency that provides foster care services could prevent a child from being placed with a qualified, loving family simply because the parents are LGBTQ, Muslim, or Jewish. This rule, simply put, creates a license to discriminate and it hurts the most vulnerable among us. And as an organization that values and affirms all families, inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity, faith, ability, and marital status, this is unacceptable.
We have written about similar attempts at discriminatory policies before but now it’s more urgent than ever that we come together to take a stand for children in foster care and their families. As our former Chief Clinical Officer (and foster parent), Jen Kamel, wrote last year about a potential bill, “It limits the number of foster homes at a time when we desperately need to expand those numbers. It further marginalizes LGBTQ+ parents and families.”
When rules like this are proposed, there is a comment period when the public is permitted to offer opinions. The comment period ends this Thursday, December 19th. Your voice matters a great deal! If there is overwhelming opposition, the department will take notice.
It’s also very easy to do! The Human Rights Campaign has made it a quick process. Click here, fill out your information, and help Amara ensure that all children in our community are given the opportunity to be cared for by anyone, regardless of sexual identity or gender identity or faith, who want to provide a loving, supportive home for a day, a month, a year or a lifetime.