It is no secret LGBTQ youth are subjected to higher rates of mental health issues and substance abuse compared to heterosexual peers. But the exploration of queer youth within foster care and alternative placement is hardly looked at.
With over 400,000 kids in the foster care system each year, a quarter of them age out of the system. LGBTQ youth form a large number in the care system and are overrepresented, According to Baams et al. In their study regarding queer youth in unstable housing, they found there are over two times more youth in foster care systems than the estimated youth populations.
Due to high rejection rates from guardians, many kids land in foster care and other adoptive placements. LGBTQ youth in unstable housing have higher rates of mental health and substance abuse in comparison to queer adolescents in stable housing and heterosexuals in the foster care system.
Marriage equality was supposed to state that the American family can’t be defined on the basis of sex. Adoption rights have bigger and multi-generational impacts on the American family and the rights of LGBTQ people.
— Molly Rose Quinn (@mollyrosamota) February 7, 2019
Many experience different forms of abuse either through foster parents and other care personnel, but victimization of our youth is a constant trend throughout. Victimization leads to the lack of a permanent out-of-home care.
Only 21 U.S states have non-discrimination policies in child welfare agencies. However, many states are currently battling anti-adoption policies. Federally, in 2018, an amendment allowing foster care agencies to deny service to queer families for religious reasons was removed. However, a new proposed policy from the Trump administration could put queer folks back in danger of not being able to adopt.
Locally, Colorado has faced a similar bill denying placement for youth with LGBTQ families. Daniel Ramos of One Colorado explained the bill was killed with Republican votes.
“We’ve been able to kill these anti-LGBTQ bills with republican votes which is also very important to us.”