In Connecticut, there are about 4,300 children who are in state care, and not living with their families. Of these, about half may be able to return to their biological families. But what of the other half?
Some have relatives or family friends who are able to raise them. Some will continue to live with foster families. There are some children (436 last year) who are adopted. Unfortunately, there are always more children in need of long-term foster care or awaiting adoption than there are adults looking to give them a home.
Connecticut has been actively recruiting LGBTI families to become foster or adoptive parents, and has been making it easier for them to adopt, in accordance with federal law and with the approval of the majority of Americans. There are good reasons to reach out to these families: same-sex couples take in foster children at 6 times the rate of straight couples and adopt at 4 times the rate of straight couples. Also, same-sex marriages have half the divorce rate compared to straight couples, and they want the formality, stability and commitment of marriage in higher percentages than straight couples. There is, of course, a rigorous screening process and training program for all families before they can become foster parents or adopt children.
There is nothing more important for a child than growing up in a stable loving family. Some states are passing laws making it more difficult for same-sex couples to take in needy children, despite the many children in need of families. I’m glad that Connecticut is reaching out to loving families and working to place more children in loving stable homes.
Edward Randall, Newtown CT
July 19, 2018