Letter to the Senate on Behalf of the Every Child Deserves a Family Act

Barbara Weinstein, Legislative Director at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, sent the following letter to the U.S. Senate yesterday, urging Senators to co-sponsor and support the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (S.1770). Please see below for the full letter.

Dear Senator:On behalf of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis, I urge you to support and co-sponsor the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (S.1770). This vital legislation addresses the significant and growing number of children in the American foster care system without a permanent, loving family, as well as inequities in our adoption laws, by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status in public adoption and foster care placements.

The Reform Movement has long been active in the struggle for civil rights for all Americans. For over three decades, we have called for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. As people of faith, our holy texts teach us that all individuals are created b’tselem Elohim (in the Divine image) (Gen. 1:27), and as such are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. As Jews, our tradition and history teach us that we should not stand by as others suffer discrimination – we envision a government which “to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance” (George Washington, in a letter to Moses Seixas, 1790). Yet today LGBT Americans frequently face discrimination as they try to form families.

Today, there are around 408,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, over a quarter of who are waiting to be adopted. However, many states have no legislation preventing discrimination in adoption, leaving both children and potential LGBT parents vulnerable to the prejudice of individual agencies and case workers. Decades of scientific data have demonstrated that children raised by same-sex couples are at least as well-adjusted, and have the same advantages and health outcomes, as children raised by opposite-sex couples.

The Every Child Deserves a Family Act would prevent discrimination in public adoption and foster care on the basis of potential parents’ – or the child’s – sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. By doing so, this vital legislation would help ensure the ability of thousands of children to find permanent, loving families.

As such, we urge you to co-sponsor the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (S. 1770).


Barbara Weinstein

Legislative Director

Image courtesy of ThinkProgress

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Noah Baron

About Noah Baron

Noah Baron is a 2011-2012 Eisendrath Legislative Assistant. He is from Princeton Junction, NJ, and a graduate of Columbia University.


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