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Defending Civil Liberties

Adoption and Foster Care

The best interests of children are served when they are provided safe, stable and loving homes, including homes headed by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender parents. Efforts to limit adoption and foster care to heterosexual parents ignores the best interests of our children in order to promote and codify personal bias into our state's laws.

There have been numerous attempts to pass legislation in Texas that would make it illegal for gays and lesbians -- as well as, in some proposals, all unmarried individuals -- to serve as foster or adoptive parents. Strong opposition from adoption and foster care groups, gay and lesbian parents and the Texas Freedom Network has helped keep such proposals from advancing out of legislative committee.


Community and professional organizations have urged policy makers and practitioners to keep the focus on children’s needs and interests when making critical decisions about adoption and foster care.

Child Welfare League of America

“All applicants [for adoption] should be fairly assessed on their abilities to successfully parent a child needing family membership and not on their appearance, differing lifestyle, or sexual preference. Agencies should assess each applicant from the perspective of what would be in the best interests of the child. Those interests are paramount.”
from CWLA’s Standards Regarding Sexual Orientation of Applicants, adopted in 1988

North American Council on Adoptable Children

“Everyone with the potential to successfully parent a child in foster care or adoption is entitled to fair and equal consideration regardless of sexual orientation or differing life style or physical appearance.”
Policy statement adopted March 14, 1998

American Academy of Pediatrics

“Children deserve to know that their relationships with both of their parents are stable and legally recognized. This applies to all children, whether their parents are of the same or opposite sex.”
Policy statement issued February 4, 2002

American Psychiatric Association

“The APA supports initiatives which allow same-sex couples to adopt and co-parent children and supports all the associated legal rights, benefits, and responsibilities which arise from such initiatives.”
Policy statement issued December 16, 2002

American Psychological Association

“There is no evidence to suggest that lesbians and gay men are unfit to be parents or that psychosocial development among children of gay men and lesbians is compromised in any respect relevant to that among offspring of heterosexual parents.”
Lesbian and Gay Parenting: A Resource for Psychologists

American Psychological Association and National Association of Social Workers

“There is no empirical support for any presumption that a gay or lesbian parent’s sexual orientation, or contact with that parent’s same-sex partner, is or will be harmful to children. Thus, any assumption that restrictions on visitation are in the best interest of children is contrary to the relevant scientific research.”
Amicus brief in Boswell vs. Boswell filed Sept. 1998 in Maryland Court of Appeals

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Equality Texas