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Same-sex fostering and adoption on the rise in Illinois

Photo of Karen Lavin

As same-sex couples continue to experience greater acceptance throughout the country, many advocacy groups throughout Illinois are harnessing one of that community's greatest resources — it's ability to provide loving homes for children in need. In Illinois alone, over 17,000 children are currently registered in the foster care system, and about a third of them are under the care of non-relatives.

Throughout the country, data indicates that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community accounts for between 2 and 4 percent of the general population. However, those same individuals are nearly six times more likely to be foster parents or adopt than their heterosexual counterparts. This increased likelihood to consider adoption and fostering throughout the community makes for a great opportunity to bring together opportunity and need. For the 415,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, the need is great.

Illinois remains one of the more progressive states when it comes to LGBT rights toward fostering and adoption, but there are still a few legally tricky areas to be worked through. Some laws on the books complicate matters like who is allowed to sign a birth certificate when the birth is resulting from artificial insemination or even basic parents' rights for unmarried couples. While these and other issues can make it nominally more difficult to foster or adopt as an LGBT individual or couple, the need of the foster community for loving homes far outweighs the inconvenience of these setbacks. A qualified attorney can help those interested in fostering or adopting as an LGBT individual or couple identify any potential roadblocks and avoid them before they have the opportunity to cause trouble.

If you have been considering fostering or adopting a child in need of a loving home, you are to be commended. Regardless of your couple status or sexual orientation, there is surely a child who can benefit from your willingness to invest in his or her life.

Source: dailyegyptian.com, "Illinois groups encourage more gay couples to adopt children, be foster parents," Tyler Davis, Aug. 24, 2016

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