20 October 2014

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, issued the following statement today after Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, told the New York Times he remains opposed to adoption by same-sex couples implying that he is opposed to single-parent adoption as well.  In the interview, published Sunday, July 13, McCain said, “I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no I don’t believe in gay adoption.” 

"McCain’s comments on adoption show a disturbing disregard for the reality that thousands of children and youth face -- the possibility of never having a permanent, loving home,” said Ellen Kahn, director of the HRC Foundation’s Family Project.  “Leading child welfare organizations in the U.S. concur that there is no reason to prevent gay and lesbian people from raising children, and the child welfare professionals who are mandated to find the best possible families for children in need recognize that every potential loving parent, whether single or married, gay or straight, is a valuable resource for children who are in need of a permanent family.  It is an insult to these professionals and the children whom they represent to suggest that the door should be closed to people other than a “traditional” married couple.  It is also an insult to the thousands of children being raised by lesbian and gay parents, and who are thriving and contributing positively to their communities.”

This has been a consistent position for Senator McCain.  Asked in 2000 about adoption by same-sex couples, McCain responded that he didn’t “believe it’s appropriate.” (San Francisco Examiner, March 1, 2000)

With the strong support of leading child welfare and adoption advocacy organizations, the HRC Foundation launched the “All Children – All Families” initiative to help adoption agencies become more welcoming and skilled in working with GLBT foster and adoptive parents.  The program, which recently received a grant from the Freddie Mac Foundation, has been well received and is viewed as the premier resource among child welfare leaders.  The program includes the “Promising Practices”guide, a tool for adoption agencies whichoffers examples of effective practices for working with GLBT foster and adoptive parents.  The guide features sample policies and materials, and also features tips from leaders of welcoming agencies, researchers in the field, and GLBT adoptive and foster parents.  The guide also includes an organizational self-assessment to allow agencies to gauge their current policies and practices and receive guidance for improvement.

Today there are more than one half a million children in the U.S. foster care system, with at least 100,000 awaiting adoption by loving, permanent families. Agencies might purposefully or inadvertently close the door to qualified families through their practices.  Few agencies recruit GLBT adoptive & foster parents, and many GLBT people feel unwelcome or discouraged.  Similarly, members of the GLBT community might not be aware of the opportunities in domestic adoption and foster care, or they might not know of agencies that welcome their families.  “All Children-All Families” works to ensure that all qualified prospective parents who wish to open their homes and hearts to children and youth have the opportunity to do so, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The All Children – All Families program includes a national advisory board comprised of leaders and experts in child welfare who understand that the GLBT community has tremendous potential to provide loving families for our waiting children.”  Additional information on the “All Children – All Families” initiative and the HRC Foundation Family Project can be found online at www.hrc.org/acaf.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.