The ACLU has a long history of successfully challenging state exclusions of LGBT people from adopting or becoming foster parents. Our highest-profile work in this area was our roughly 20-year challenge to Florida’s notorious law that banned lesbians and gay men from adopting children. We deployed a relentless series of state and federal court lawsuits to bring this law down. 

We will continue to challenge the remaining state laws and policies that ban adoption or fostering by LGBT people or same-sex couples. We will do this not only through the courts, but through the court of public opinion. The science clearly shows that these adoption and fostering bans do nothing to promote children’s well-being and in fact only harm families and deny children in the foster care system the loving families they need.

We’ll also continue to fight efforts to authorize discriminatory treatment of LGBT people by religiously affiliated child welfare agencies that contract with states to serve the needs of children in state custody. When faith-based organizations choose to provide child welfare services with tax dollars, they must not be permitted to use religious criteria—as opposed to professional child welfare standards—when involved in adoption or foster care placements. 

If you have experienced discriminatory treatment in your attempt to adopt or become a foster parent and are looking for help, please contact us.  You can click here to fill out our confidential online form.  For non-LGBT issues, please contact your local ACLU affiliate.

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