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Naomi Goldberg: Making the case that all children matter

Naomi Goldberg works as a researcher for the Movement Advancement Project.  In this article, she discusses a new report that offers detailed recommendations for eliminating or reducing inequities and improving the lives of children with LGBT parents.  

Last week, the Movement Advancement Project released a comprehensive report about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) families. The report was coauthored by the Center for American Progress and the Family Equality Council, while report partners include the National Association of Social Workers, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and COLAGE.

This report is groundbreaking for several reasons. First, it pulls together all the best and most current research about who LGBT families are – what do LGBT families look like? Where do they live?

The report also makes use of one of the few health surveys  to collect data on lesbian, gay and bisexual people: the California Health Interview Survey,  CHIS 2009 data are used in the report to estimate that 19 percent of lesbian women and 29 percent of bisexual women in California are raising kids, compared to 4 percent of gay men and 7 percent of bisexual men.

The report also examines in great detail the many challenges faced by LGBT families, including the obstacles faced by LGBT parents in legally adopting a child, or the inability of an LGBT family to be counted as a family when applying for many safety net programs, including child care assistance. CHIS data also provide important insight here, too, including the fact that 50 percent of “poor” LGB Californians with kids were food-insecure compared to 41 percent of comparable heterosexual Californian families. 

Finally, this report provides dozens of commonsense recommendations on how to ensure that all American children have access to stable, loving homes, economic security and good health and well-being.

Related reading:
All Children Matter  (Movement Advancement Project)
Facts for Families: Children with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Parents  (American Academy of Child & Adolescents Psychiatry)

Suggested resources:
Movement Advancement Project  
California Health Interview Survey (UCLA Center for Health Policy Research)


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