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Working With Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Families in Adoption
Series: Bulletins for Professionals|
Child Welfare Information Gateway |
|Year Published: 2011|
The Basics of Creating a Welcoming Agency
When prospective LGBT adoptive parents begin their journey to build a family through adoption, they often look for an agency that sends a clear message that they will be welcomed, respected, and valued. Agencies that want to convey a welcoming philosophy can use the following concrete steps10:
- Have an explicit nondiscrimination statement that includes sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status.
- Use inclusive language in your written materials, on your website and in your general external communications. For example, forms should say "applicant 1/applicant 2," rather than "mother/father."
- Invite LGBT parents from your local community to serve on an advisory board, participate in a focus group, or be a guest speaker at staff meetings.
- Talk about your inclusive policies at orientation/training meetings and use examples of families that convey the wide range of diversity within your client base.
- Include photos of two-mom and two-dad families as well as a range of single-parent families in your marketing materials and on your website.
- If you are an agency leader, ensure that training for all staff includes cultural competence or request that your supervisor/administrator provide training opportunities.
- When possible, hire an LGBT staff person or those who identify themselves as LGBT allies. Make clear to all prospective employees that you have a policy of welcoming LGBT adoptive parents and be sure your team is fully supportive and compliant with these policies.
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