Study: Children of LGBT Parents Face Barriers
A new comprehensive report compiled by advocacy and child-welfare groups shows that the children of LGBT parents face distinct legal and social barriers that may impact their overall well-being.
The Family Equality Council was one of three organizations that authored “All Children Matter: How Legal And Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families.” Executive director Jennifer Chrisler tells OutQ News that together, the groups found that these kids become “collateral damage” because of social stigma and what she calls “discriminatory and sometimes archaic laws.” Chrisler says such inequalities are not exactly in keeping with the times, especially since there are now an estimated two MILLION children of LGBT parents.
CHRISLER: And I think fundamentally, one of the things that the report spells out very clearly is both a picture of what today’s modern family looks like, especially LGBT families, and the fact that we need to have our laws, have our regulations keep pace with that new reality.
Some of the barriers that Chrisler and her team noticed included financial burdens unique to LGBT families, like higher costs for health insurance, separate federal tax returns and fewer protections in the event of a parent’s death or disability.
Also, many government safety net programs exclude same-sex partners because they use traditional definitions of family. And custody disputes become even more complicated because of the lack of parental recognition.
So the report offers a few recommendations, which Chrisler refers to as a “blue print,” for lawmakers and policy leaders. They include revising the tax code, broadening the definition of a “family,” allowing joint adoption by LGBT parents, and, of course, full marriage equality.
Written by Xorje Olivares
October 26, 2011 at 7:45 am
Tagged with All Children Matter, All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families, Center for American Progress, Child Welfare League of America, Family Equality Council, gay parenting, Jennifer Chrisler, kids of LGBT parents, LGBT discrimination, LGBT families, LGBT parents, Movement Advancement Project, National Association of Social Workers, social stigma
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