Connecticut’s child welfare division is openly declaring their acceptance of same-sex parents so that their state can be known as a welcoming place for LGBTQ people, according to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
“We just have to get this word out,” Malloy told the Associated Press. “We have to get more of our children placed with our families in our state.”
The Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) will work with LGBTQ organizations and community centers to encourage same-sex couples to apply to become either adoptive or foster parents. Connecticut currently has around 4,300 children being cared for by the state, half of which are unlikely to return to their original home.
DCF Commissioner Joette Katz told AP that they currently have around 100 LGBTQ families, but wish to to raise that number to 250 by the end of Malloy’s term. “There are hundreds, if not thousands of families, that have a lot of love to give,” she said.
Connecticut’s outreach to the LGBTQ community stands in staunch opposition to recent efforts in other states. Lawmakers in Kansas and Oklahoma recently passed bills that allow adoption and foster care agencies to refuse to place children with “immoral” same-sex couples.
Shannon Smith, who adopted two young boys in DCF care with his husband Ross Stencil, said that these restrictions against gay adoptions have scared off same-sex couples looking to adopt.
“I think it’s nice DCF is pulling out the stops to really let people know, ’Hey, your love is just as good as anybody else’s. Don’t listen to that other garbage that everyone is saying. If you’re a great parent, we’re going to get you a kid,” he said.
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