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LGBT parents can certainly be the loving, committed individuals our children need.

Veronica’s laugh is contagious. Credit: Judy West Photography.

setts Adoption Resource Exchange. One out of every five of these children and youth was placed in an LGBT-parented household. The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, which researched eliminating barriers to adoption from foster care, argues that a broader definition of family leads to more children being placed with LGBT-headed families and fewer children aging out of state care. Queer individuals can provide the permanent and loving homes that are so desperately needed and reduce the number of young adults forced to live independently without the skills to do so. LGBT folks who possess a strong sense of self can be great role models for children who struggle to work past shame to become proud of themselves. For this reason, agencies like Family Equality Council (FEC) have long fought for the recognition of LGBT families and their right to adopt from foster care on the local, state, and federal levels. FEC advocates for new policies that support LGBT parents and challenges existing oppressive policies that are discriminatory against the LGBT community. Over the past few years, FEC has been part of a national coalition working to pass S. 1382/H.R. 2449, the Every Child Deserves A Family Act, which is “a bill to prohibit discrimination in adoption or foster care placements based on the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of any prospective adoptive or foster parent, or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved.”

Ryan loves learning. Credit: Nicole Chan Photography.

This is promising groundwork if you are considering building a family, like Tom Scott and Joe Sandagato of Oakham have done. Over the last two decades they have finalized the adoptions of seven children from the foster care system in Massachusetts. Their decision to adopt siblings and older children over the years provided the children with permanency and stability through family life and allowed the couple to experience parenthood. The experience has not been without its share of challenges. As Joe explains, “adopting children from the system means that you must acknowledge the role that their past plays in their lives.” But when provided a stable, supportive, and loving home in which to thrive, adopted kids can amaze you with their resilience. Hundreds of children in foster care await parents of their own. Consider adoption.

[W]hen provided a stable, supportive, and loving home in which to thrive, adopted kids can amaze you with their resilience.

In her current role as Director of Family Support Services at MARE, Diane Tomaz is responsible for developing and implementing services to recruit, retain, and support prospective adoptive families from their first steps into the adoption process to the placement of a child in their home. She resides in Roslindale with her partner and two sons, both adopted from foster care.

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