Weekly News Digest: October 26th through November 2nd

National Adoption Month

  • On November 1st the Administration for Children and Families officially kicked off National Adoption Month, with the theme this year focusing on teens in need of permanent families. The National Adoption Month website offers many tools, resources and supports for all families with a special focus on the needs of teens in foster care.
  • Many adopted people have been working tirelessly for some time now to ensure their voices are heard, particularly in reframing the National Adoption Month narrative to include differing perspective. This Huffington Post piece highlights how adoptee rights activists are uniting to express a message of adoptee rights awareness, with a particular focus on how adopted people are denied the right to know their own full truth.

DAI Reflection: It is critically important to ensure the voices of adopted people are heard loud and clear during National Adoption Month and throughout the year. The experiences of those who live adoption are the most valuable tools we have to educate us all about needed changes in systems that serve children and families. Check out DAI’s Adoption Experience Gallery, and share your narrative with us!

Texas Challenges The Indian Child Welfare Act

  • The attorney general in Texas, Ken Paxton, is suing the federal government over the Indian Child Welfare Act. According to the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Paxton is arguing that the Indian Child Welfare Act is unconstitutional and that the law prioritizes a child’s race over their best interest. The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a non-Native American family in Texas who is seeking to adopt a Native American boy. 

DAI Reflection: Differences in race, class and culture must be at the forefront of all conversations surrounding services to children and families in order to best meet the needs of today’s families in a diverse world. Having a strong sense of identity is critically important for children and families as a whole. Take a look at DAI’s research about adoption and identity. 

Foster Care Needs and Capacity

  • The Chronicle of Social Change reports on their recent state by state research which sought to uncover whether there are enough homes and care environments to meet the needs of the ever-increasing number of children who are in foster care. Among other notable findings of their research is the fact that at least half of states have not increased their foster care capacity since 2012, although foster care numbers have been on the rise since this time.

DAI Reflection: Every state must have the resources to meet the needs of children and families, especially vulnerable children who call foster care home. It is critical also that states are supported in ensuring they have the capacity to respond with services to preserve families. Check out DAI’s blog about the need for real solutions in foster care.

Family Pride

  • Advocates in Mississippi are continuing to work tenaciously to ensure equality for LGBT individuals and families in Mississippi. According to Trib Live, last week US District Judge, Carlton Reeves, reopened a lawsuit that seeks to overturn a very restrictive law signed by Governor Phil Bryant in 2016. The law allows both government workers and private businesses to refuse service to members of the LGBT community based on their religious objection. 
  • Post Crescent reports that a judge in Kentucky has resigned in the wake of an ethics and misconduct inquiry based on his refusal to hear adoption cases involving gay and lesbian parents. According to the article, the ACLU, Lambda Legal, the Fairness Campaign, the Kentucky chapter of the ACLU, and a law professor from Louisville University filed a complaint about the judge with the Judicial Conduct Commission last May asking for the Judge’s removal from the bench.

DAI Reflection: Families must be evaluated on the basis of their qualifications, not their sexual orientation. Take a look at DAI’s public opinion research which demonstrates significant public support for equality in adoption.