LGBTQ Kids in Foster Care: Why being gay friendly is a MUST for foster and adoptive parents.
During one of my very first training classes, I remember the trainer asking each prospective foster parent to share whether or not they would be willing to take in a gay child or teen. This was a room full of white, christian married couples, so sadly but not surprisingly, over half of them indicated that they would NOT be open to parenting a gay child. They argued that since it was against their religious beliefs, they would only take younger children, you know, to avoid parenting any of "those kids". Which is just ridiculous because hello, younger children can still grow up to be gay or gender nonconforming. You can't request a straight baby at the hospital.
Discriminating against already traumatized children and rejecting them for their sexuality? Sounds just like what Jesus would do! :/
The truth is, there are way too many Christians involved and foster care and adoption whose personal definition of christianity is very problematic. Honestly, people with a narrow minded Christian faith that leads them to judge and condemn others make up the bulk of foster and adoptive parents. It causes a whole host of issues, but one of the biggest ones is this: kids who are gay, transgender, or gender nonconforming have a very hard time finding a foster or adoptive family that is prepared to love them for who they are. Even Christian families who say they are prepared to be accepting might not actually be capable of providing a truly inclusive environment, especially if their church community openly (or subtly) condemns people in the LGBTQ community.
Kiddos who've experienced trauma and removal from their first families are already fighting an uphill battle. Kids who are gay or trans are going to be fighting yet another battle as they struggle to find their path in a society that still doesn't treat them equally. They don't deserve to be fighting for acceptance within their foster or adoptive family too.
All kids deserve to be loved unconditionally. And that means that there is no place for homophobia or transphobia in any foster or adoptive home.
No matter what your version of Jesus thinks about it.