Connecticut recruiting LGBT families to adopt, foster kids
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's child welfare agency has launched an initiative to actively recruit members of the state's LGBT community to become foster and adoptive parents, bucking recent efforts in some states to curtail gay adoptions.
Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said today Connecticut wants to be known as a state that welcomes and embraces the LGBT community, especially considering there are 4,300 children in state care and about half of them likely won't return to their biological families.
"We just have to get this word out," Malloy said. "We have to get more of our children placed with our families in our state."
The Connecticut Department of Children and Families' new outreach campaign is one of a handful of efforts by state and city governments across the U.S. to encourage gays and lesbians to consider becoming adoptive or foster parents. There are similar initiatives in New York City and San Francisco.
The department plans to work with gay and lesbian organizations, such as the Connecticut Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and LGBT community centers, to encourage people to apply to become parents. DCF Commissioner Joette Katz said there are roughly 100 LGBT adoptive families currently in the state's system.
She said she wants to increase that number to at least 250 by January, when Malloy's term expires.
"There are hundreds, if not thousands of families, that have a lot of love to give," she said, noting a 2013 study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law that found same-sex couples are four times more likely than different-sex couples to raise an adopted child and six times more likely to raise foster children.