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5 Facts About Foster Youth

1. Over 425,000 children are in the U.S. foster care system and more than 104,000 of these children will not reunite with their families—they are available for adoption now. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children & Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, AFCARS Report #14, 2008.

2. The average waiting child has been in foster care for more than three years and once s/he is nine or older (43%), adoption is much less likely. North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), It’s Time to Make Older Child Adoption a Reality.

3. In 2010, 28,000 youth “aged out” of foster care, with no parents. Casey Family Programs, Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS).

4. Seventy-five percent of “aged out” foster youth will not graduate high school or earn a GED, over 50% will experience homelessness and nearly 30% will become incarcerated. The PEW Charitable Trusts, The Kids Are Waiting, Time for Reform: Preventing Youth from Aging Out on their Own.

5. Multiple research studies have found that adoption represents a cost savings to taxpayers, with one indicating that each dollar spent on the adoption of a child from U.S. foster care yields three dollars in benefits to society. Hall, Chapin. Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth, University of Chicago, 2010.

5 Facts About Foster Youth In Los Angeles County

Source: CASA LA Report, 2008.

1. Each year in Los Angeles, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) receives more than 167,000 referrals alleging that children have been abused or neglected.

2. More than 27,000 children were found to be victims of abuse and neglect in 2007.

3. Thirty-eight percent of California’s foster care population is in Los Angeles County.

4. As of January 2008, there were more than 27,000 children in foster care in Los Angeles County.

5. Of the children currently in foster care, 1,400 are currently awaiting adoptive families.

15 Facts About LGBT Parents

1. Over 65,000 adopted children and 14,000 foster children in the U.S. are being raised in homes headed by non-heterosexual individuals or couples.Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, Expanding Resources for Children III: Research-Based Best Practices in adoption by Gays and Lesbians, October 2011.

2. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the number of same-sex couples who have adopted children in the past decade more than tripled, from 6,477 couples in 2000, to 21,740 in 2009. The Williams Institute, Gay Adoptions Skyrocketing in United States, October 25, 2011.

3. Two million GLB people have expressed an interest in raising a child. The Williams Institute, Adoption and Foster Care by Gay and Lesbian Parents in the United States, March 2007.

4. Foster kids do equally well when adopted by gay, lesbian or heterosexual parents. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, October 2012.

5. Same-sex couples raising adopted children are older, more educated, and have more economic resources than other adoptive parents. The Williams Institute, Adoption and Foster Care by Gay and Lesbian Parents in the United States, March 2007.

6. Public support for allowing gays and lesbians to adopt children has steadily increased. While in 1999, only 38% favored gay adoption and 57% opposed it, in July 2012 52% favor gay adoption while 42% were opposed.Pew Research Center, 2012.

7. Six million American children and adults have an LGBT parent.

8. 41% of lesbians and 52% of gay men have considered adoption.The Williams Institute, Adoption and Foster Care by Gay and Lesbian Parents in the United States, March 2007.

9. LGBT parents may be judged more harshly than heterosexual parents.Journal of GLBT Family Studies, March 2013.

10. LGBT-headed families are not a new phenomenon.

11. Lesbian, gay or heterosexual adoptive parents raise equally well-adjusted children.

12. Lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parents bond equally well with adopted children.

13. Adoptive parents’ ability to work cooperatively with each other is more important than sexual orientation in raising children with fewer behavior problems.

14. Teens with lesbian mothers are psychologically well-adjusted, academically successful, and report strong family bonds and quality social relationships with their peers.

15. Lesbian and gay couples are adopt transracially more often than heterosexual couples; transracial adoptions also occur more often among interracial rather than same-race couples.

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