LGBT families are part of the American fabric. Two million children are being raised by lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender parents. Children of gay and lesbian parents live in 96% of U.S. counties—and decades of research shows that those children grow up as happy, healthy and well-adjusted as their peers.
So why do our laws systematically stand in the way of allowing children of LGBT parents to thrive?
Current laws deny loving, forever homes to the 115,000 children awaiting adoption. They deny children of LGBT families legal ties to both their parents, meaning that families live in fear due to uncertain family ties. They can wrongly separate children from their parents in cases of divorce or the death of a parent. They deny basic government aid and safety net programs to children of LGBT parents simply because their family doesn’t meet a legal definition of family in a particular state. They can deny access to parents’ health insurance coverage, quality child care and early childhood education programs, Social Security Survivor benefits, inheritance, and more.
These outdated, harmful laws not only ignore and hurt the roughly 2 million children being raised by LGBT parents, they also hurt children in other family configurations, including those with unmarried heterosexual parents.
Public policy has not kept up with the changing reality of the American family. Without common-sense policy solutions that address the needs of LGBT and other families, our laws will continue to hurt children of LGBT parents and make it more difficult for them to reach their full potential.