A major new report, “All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families,” was released today by the Center for American Progress, the Family Equality Council, and the Movement Advancement Project, in partnership with COLAGE, The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and the National Association of Social Workers (with a foreword by the Child Welfare League of America).
It’s well worth your time to have a read. (And if you’re viewing this post right away, you can still catch a livestream of the event announcing the report, which is running until noon ET.)
Here are a few facts to whet your appetite:
- Children of same-sex couples live in 96% of U.S. counties.
- Same-sex couples living in the South are most likely to be raising children (Mississippi has the largest percentage of same-sex couples raising children).
- LGBT families are twice as likely to be living in poverty as married, opposite-sex parents with children.
- LGBT families are more racially and ethnically diverse than the population as a whole.
- Decades of social science research show that children of gay and lesbian parents grow up to be as healthy, happy and well-adjusted as their peers. All major child health and welfare organizations support parenting and adoption by gay and lesbian parents.
Information on the inequalities these children face and recommendations from the report are after the jump. In the meantime, here’s a video the report creators have made to bring their findings to life:
How Inequitable Laws and Stigma Hurt Children
- Deny children legal ties to both of their parents—which affects everything from custody to a parent being able to make emergency medical decisions for his or her child.
- Wrongly separate children from their parents in cases of divorce or death of a parent.
- Tie children’s access to critical federal and state safety net programs to family structure, rather than need.
- Deny children access to quality child care and early childhood education.
- Deny children Social Security survivor benefits or inheritance when a parent dies.
- Put a child’s legal ties to his or her parents in jeopardy if the family crosses state lines.
- Deny forever homes to 115,000 children awaiting adoption.
Common-Sense Solutions That Affirm All Children Matter
- Legally recognize LGBT families via parental recognition laws at the state level, marriage for gay and lesbian couples, and pathways to immigration and citizenship for binational LGBT families.
- Provide equal access to government-based economic protections such as safety net programs.
- Provide LGBT families and their children with equal access to health care and health insurance, as well as medical decision-making ability.
- Protect LGBT families with non-discrimination laws and anti-bullying policies.
- Expand research and data collection on LGBT families.