Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) October 31, 2012
High-risk children adopted from foster care do equally well when placed with gay, lesbian or heterosexual parents, according to a multi-year study conducted by psychologists at the University of California Los Angeles. Letitia Anne Peplau, a distinguished research professor of psychology at UCLA and co-author of the study, concludes, "There is no scientific basis to discriminate against gay and lesbian parents."
The nonprofit organization RaiseAChild.US puts this research into practice by encouraging the LGBT community to build families through fostering and adoption. Rich Valenza, its Founder and President adds, “This study confirms what anecdotal evidence has shown for years—that LGBT people are a tremendous source for safe and loving homes for the many, many children in our foster care system. Due to misinformation and historical exclusion, this resource is largely untapped.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Administration for Children & Families, over 107,000 children in the foster care system are available and waiting to be adopted. Beyond that number, there are 300,000 more children in need of immediate foster placement. Certified families are in short supply.
Justin Lavner, a doctoral candidate in psychology and lead author of the UCLA study, explains that foster children adopted by gay and lesbian parents, on average, had more background risk factors. These include premature birth, prenatal substance exposure, abuse or neglect and multiple prior placements. Transracial adoption was more prevalent, as well. “It could be that gay and lesbian parents are more open to diversity,” Lavner says, “and more willing to take kids with more background risk.”
“This research backs up what I have suspected for a long while,” adds John Ireland, Media Director and Co-founder of RaiseAChild.US. “Growing up, LGBT people deal with adversity and as a result, become more resilient. We are able to teach our children how to develop resilience themselves… so they can overcome their particular challenges. On top of that, having children is intentional for us, so many of us have put a great deal of thought, time and resources into our families.”
More information about the UCLA study can be found at http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/foster-children-adopted-by-gay-239748.aspx.
RaiseAChild.US campaigns recruit and support prospective LGBT parents while putting images of LGBT families into public spaces through PSAs, print media and outdoor advertising. Since January 2011, RaiseAChild.US has run three campaigns in Los Angeles, engaging over 500 prospective parents, with 400 attending recruitment events. For more information, visit RaiseAChild.US.