Equality Illinois Offers New Adoption Guide for
Prospective LGBT Parents
“Growing Your Family” includes list of adoption agencies
and guide to process and rights
CHICAGO (January 14, 2014) – Equality Illinois today launches an exciting new initiative to assist prospective LGBT parents through the sometimes challenging road map to adopt children in need of loving, permanent homes.
As the state’s oldest and largest advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans, Equality Illinois is committed to helping LGBT individuals and couples think through the adoption process and understand their legal rights.
A new 24-page Equality Illinois booklet, Growing Your Family: A Guide for Prospective LGBT Adoptive Parents, contains an overview of adoption law and topics to consider as individuals or families start the process of adoption. It also includes a list of adoption and foster agencies in Illinois and their stated policies toward same-sex couples and LGBT individuals.
“Thousands of Illinois children are already being raised in families with LGBT parents. And more LGBT individuals and gay and lesbian couples are interested in growing their families, including through adoption and foster care. We intend this guide to help prospective parents understand the process of adoption and foster care and make the best choices for themselves and their families,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.
“Under Illinois law, adoption and foster care decisions are made based on the best interests of the child. While many factors go into how an adoptive family is chosen, the sexual orientation of prospective parents and their marital status are not to be considered against them,” Cherkasov said. “In trying to make the best match for each child, some agencies have special support services and training aimed at gay and lesbian couples, helping them navigate sensitive topics, such as being a ‘conspicuous family,’ a term known in the adoption world.”
According to United States Census data for the state of Illinois, there are over 34,000 same-sex couples in long-term relationships living across the state, and 21 percent of these couples are raising children. Many same-sex couples, as well as single LGBT individuals, become parents through adoption or foster care.
To prepare Growing Your Family: A Guide for Prospective LGBT Adoptive Parents, Equality Illinois turned to experts in the field, including The Cradle, a well-known adoption agency in Evanston, Illinois, The Family Institute at Northwestern University, and Rosemary S. Mulryan, whose law firm Mulryan & York of Chicago specializes in family law.