APA, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) brief lawmakers on adoption and sexual orientation

A March briefing spearheaded by APA and SPSSI, in conjunction with other organizational partners, addressed legislation that seeks to redress State and local policies that prevent foster parenting and adoption based on sexual orientation. APA member Charlotte Patterson provided critical research support for proposed federal changes.

PI-GRO and the APA Office on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns worked closely with SPSSI to organize a congressional briefing held on Thursday, March 11 on The Every Child Deserves a Family Act (H.R. 4806).  This important legislation addresses the need to eliminate State and federal policies that prevent the fostering or adoption of children due to a guardian’s sexual orientation.  APA Member Charlotte Patterson, PhD, spoke at this filled-to- capacity event.  Her remarks were very well received and addressed 30 years of research of LGBT parenting and adoption and outcomes for children.  Other event co-sponsors included the Family Equality Council and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.  Additional speakers included:

  • Dr. Gary J. Gates, Senior Research Fellow at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law); 

  • Uma Ahluwalia, Director of the Department of Health and Human Services for Montgomery County, Maryland; 

  • Leslie Cooper, senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union; 

  • Martin Gill, an adoptive parent, who, along with his partner, has been raising two foster children since 2004 and is currently involved in a lawsuit against Florida's law that automatically denies adoption by gays and lesbians; and 

  • an adolescent who was part of the foster care system. 

Representatives Pete Stark (D-CA) and Judy Chu (D-CA) made introductory remarks at this timely event.