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Urge your Member of Congress to Provide Safe and Supportive Homes to Children in Need (H.R. 2028/S. 1069))

Background
There are close to 500,000 young people currently in foster care across the United States, around 120,000 of whom are eligible for adoption every year. Finding homes is not always easy, and nearly 25,000 prospective adoptees will “age out” of the system without a family before the year is through. Yet the current patchwork of state laws and policies denies kids access to safe, stable, and permanent homes just because of the sexual orientation or gender identity of the prospective parents.

More than 40 years of research indicates that the optimal development for children is based on the stable attachments to committed and nurturing parents, not on the marital status or sexual orientation of the parents. This research consistently shows that children raised by same sex parents have the same level of emotional, cognitive, social and sexual development outcomes as children raised by straight parents. Research also shows that foster youth who never find a permanent home face a much higher chance of ending up poor, homeless, in jail, and becoming a young parent.

The Every Child Deserves a Family Act (H.R. 2028/S. 1069) seeks to end the practice of adoption and foster care agencies discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation when considering prospective parents. It promotes the best interests of the children in the foster care system by increasing their access to safe and supportive homes. ECDF has no impact on private adoptions and religious charities are free to continue operating as they always have.

Jewish Values
Judaism teaches that all human beings are created b'tselem elohim – in the Divine image. Genesis 1:27 tells us that “God created humans in God’s own image, in the image of God, God created them: male and female, God created them.” The belief that the stamp of the divine is present in all humans is fundamental to Reform Judaism; we cannot tolerate discrimination against any person for any reason. Qualified gay and lesbian Americans should be able to provide nurturing and supportive homes to children seeking adoptive and foster care, as do heterosexual Americans.

Take Action
In emails, faxes and phone calls, please contact your Members of Congress and urge them to support the Every Child Deserves a Family Act and oppose discrimination against gays and lesbians. The Capitol Switchboard can be reached at 202.224.3121. You can also send an e-mail by entering your Zip Code. For more information, please contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Sophie Golomb at 202.387.2800.

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