All sexualities and gender identities are welcome to become foster and adoptive parents at Victor FFA. Love is love and that’s what children need above all else when they find themselves in a foster care.
We believe that care is found in homes with those who sincerely want to support a child and we don’t think that is limited to certain gender identities or sexualities.
Every child deserves a loving and supporting home and to be who they truly are. Unfortunately, LGBTQ+ foster youth face many hardships and discrimination.
LGBTQ+ Foster Youth
Foster children and teens all have a need for a safe home regardless of gender or sexual identity because that is what all children deserve. Unfortunately, there is a lot of hardship they may experience.
Currently, LGBTQ+ kids are overrepresented in the foster care system and more likely to have experienced trauma, making the need even greater for LGBTQ+ affirming homes. This isn’t a new need or topic, in fact there have been efforts to get queer identifying foster children in safe and affirming homes since the 1970’s. Today there is less stigma around being out, but there’s still a lot of work to be done and paths to clear.
A study done in 2019 showed that 30.4% of youth in foster care identify as LGBTQ+ compared to the 11.2% not in foster care. For youth that identify as transgender the statistics stand at 5% and 1.17% respectively. This overrepresentation extends to the juvenile justice system as well.
26% of LGBTQ+ youth are rejected by their family or forced to leave the home making them more vulnerable to homelessness and sexual exploitation. They are also less likely to be placed in a home and many LGBTQ+ youth have expressed not feeling safe or supported in their foster home and choose to live on the street instead.
LGBTQ+ youth in foster care are more likely to have experienced trauma or abuse because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. They are also three times more likely to attempt suicide compared to their non-foster care counterparts. There is a greater likelihood of them running away or being kicked out of their home.
The good news is that there is evidence that when we put LGBTQIA+ foster children in affirming environments, like high schools, their well-being improves. By having households that are welcoming and affirming to these children, we can give them the space to focus on school and growing well. We can help them thrive.
LGBTQ+ Foster Parents
LGBTQ people can legally become foster parents in every single state in the US. However, that doesn’t mean that every foster care and adoptive agency supports same sex couples. You’ll need to do your research on finding an agency that is the right fit for you and your partner if you aren’t single.
It is apparent that LGBTQ+ affirming homes are needed. Both because of the high population of LGBTQ+ youth, but also the dire consequences in the long term for that child or teen if they don’t find a home that they feel safe in.
That is one of the reasons we feel lucky to have the amazing resource families that we do at Victor FFA. They can provide that support, empathy, and care to the youth placed in their home through shared experience and as allies. But their impact goes beyond that.
More likely to foster
Same-sex foster parents are six times more likely to foster than opposite sex couples. Foster Care and Foster to Adopt programs offer a more accessible path to becoming parents for same sex couples.
Gay foster parents make up $87-$130 million in childcare nationally. Meaning they don’t just impact individual lives, but the system as a whole.
Lifetime positive role model
Foster parents who are themselves a part of the LGBTQ+ community can offer a sense of normalcy and empathy through shared experiences. They can also give children and teens a sense of hope of what life can look like in the long term, opposed to homelessness and more abuse that befalls some of their peers. Similarly, our single parents or heterosexual couples can model being a good ally by affirmation and acceptance.
Be an Ally
As a whole, the nation is not on the same page when it comes to protecting LGBTQ+ foster youth or parent’s rights. Only 14 states have non-discrimination laws that protect sexual orientation and gender identity and 7 have laws protecting only sexual orientation.
However, all members of the foster care system have a responsibility to our LGBTQ+ youth, not just the members of their community. From the social workers, to administrative workers, to non-LGBTQ+ resource families, we all need to be allies and educate ourselves to ensure the best future and lives for the children we serve and the families we work with.
So we celebrate and speak up for our LGBTQ+ community to say 'thank you' to our foster parents and 'we see you' to our foster children.
If you or someone you know would like to become a resource parent or wants to know how else you can help us by providing caring homes to youth in need, please reach out.