Martin Gill knows firsthand the kind of protracted legal battle faced by LGBT families who want to adopt. He and his partner Bruce successfully fought the system in Florida to legally adopt the two young boys they had been fostering.
Now, Gill is taking the fight to the federal level. In a column published in the Miami Herald on May 28, Gill has put his face on the fight to pass the Every Child Deserves a Family Act.
ECDF is a federal child welfare bill that would eliminate discrimination in foster care and adoption placements based on gender identity, sexual orientation or marital status.
“This bill would ensure that our country is doing everything possible to move children out of the foster care system and into permanent loving homes,” Gill wrote, noting that an estimated 400,000 children and youth are in foster care, an on average at least 100,000 each year are in need of a permanent adoptive family.
The Florida Equality Council reports that 39 states currently restrict the ability of same-sex couples to adopt. Without legal barriers, the Williams Institute found, as many as 2 million LGBT parents might become foster or adoptive parents.
The bill is a bipartisan effort sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). Miami’s Rep. Federica Wilson (D-FL) is an original sponsor of the Act, which is being reintroduced.
“I truly believe that Every Child Deserves a Family. If there is even one child denied an adoptive family then we are not trying hard enough,” Gill wrote in his column. “The Every Child Deserves a Family Act offers a solution to the problem by allowing more well-qualified, loving parents to adopt. It offers a safety net to some of our nation’s most needy kids.”
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