Mother’s Day Event Celebrates Lesbians Building Families through Fostering and Adoption

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Brunch and panel discussion at the Hammer Museum is the latest recruitment effort by local child welfare agencies.

Angela and Megahn first fostered and then adopted their children in Los Angeles County, using SCFFAA to help them navigate the process. Photo by Donna Morris.

The LGBT community is a tremendous source of stable, loving homes for foster kids.

Angela Belden and Megahn Hosea had talked about raising children since meeting in 2004. One of the reasons they relocated to Los Angeles from Florida in 2008 was because California’s laws are supportive of LGBT parents and their children.

Over six weeks of evening classes near downtown L.A., they learned the “ages and stages” of child development, became CPR-certified and heard foster/adoptive parents speak about the process of integrating a child into a home and family. Little did they know that soon, they would be parenting a sibling group of four boys under six. The children are now 7, 5, 3 and 1 year old.

“We are a really good match because we’re both active people,” says Belden. “With four boys, it’s always “Go, go, go!” We love to have our meals together and there’s naptime, but in between we’ll go on a hike or a bike ride or pull weeds in the garden or wash the car… we are always moving… and we do these things together. We’ve set-up a really great family routine.”

Hosea describes the family’s day-to-day life. “The laundry is insurmountable. We spend a lot of time figuring out whose shoes are whose! Our oldest has regular spelling tests and is learning how to read and write… and we do flash cards with the ABCs and learn cities and countries on the map with all of the boys.” Belden adds, “Sometimes I think about our schedules and I can’t believe we get it all done.”

This Saturday, lesbian mothers from across the county will come together to share their parenting experiences with prospective foster and adoptive mothers. The brunch, which takes place at the Hammer Museum near UCLA, is being organized by a consortium of child welfare organizations including the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Southern California Foster Family and Adoption Agency (SCFFAA), and Penny Lane Centers. The gathering is part of a larger national recruitment campaign coordinated by RaiseAChild.US, a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage members of the LGBT community to build their families through fostering and adoption.

“The LGBT community is a tremendous source of stable, loving homes for foster kids,” says Sari Grant, Recruitment Administrator for DCFS. “Many of these children will become available for adoption. We’re very happy to be part of this recruitment effort that encourages the LGBT community to consider fostering and adopting as an excellent avenue for creating or expanding their family.”

According to 2010 U.S. Census data, children are being raised in over one million LGBT-headed households. While LGBT parents may encounter resistance from child welfare workers in some communities across the U.S., California law provides children who are in need of loving parents equal access to foster and adoptive families, regardless of the sexual orientation of the parents.

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