About the Every Child Deserves a Family Act

Foster youth explain why Congress must pass the Every Child Deserves a Family Act.

What is the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (S.1303 & H.R.2640)?

  • Every Child Deserves a Family is a federal bill that increases the number of foster and adoptive homes by restricting federal funding for states employing discriminatory practices in adoption and foster care placements based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of potential parents, as well as the sexual orientation or gender identity of foster youth. 

  • Best Interests of the Child: As a child welfare bill, ECDF promotes the best interests of the children in the foster care system by increasing their access to the safe and supportive homes of single, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people who would consider serving as foster or adoptive parents but face barriers due to existing state laws, regulations, and policies preventing them from doing so.  ECDF also promotes culturally competent care for the 19% of foster youth who identify as LGBTQ, and who suffer greater rates of mistreatment and worse outcomes than non-LGBTQ foster youth.


Why is ECDF Necessary?

  • Permanency for At-Risk Youth: There are an estimated 443,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, over 123,000 of whom are available for adoption. The current patchwork of state laws does a disservice to these children by denying them access to permanent, safe, and loving homes.                                                                                          

  • Culturally Competent Care:  The American Association of Pediatrics has said, “Policies that single-out or discriminate against LGBTQ youth are harmful to social-emotional health and may have lifelong consequences.”  And, the Center for Study of Social Policies has found that “[c]hildren and youth who identify as ….[LBGTQ] are disproportionately involved with child welfare and experience worse outcomes than their peers due to trauma they often experience while in state care”. (emphasis added)


Who Supports ECDF?


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