I write to encourage the State Board of Social Services to prohibit state-licensed child placing agencies from discriminating based on based on race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, disability and family status in providing services to children and prospective foster care and adoptive parents.
All children need and deserve loving, supportive homes. Such homes come in diverse forms, but no one type of home has the corner on the market when it comes to loving children and providing them with a loving, nuturing environment. It is tragic that there are so many children in need of foster and adoptive homes and it is not an easy task taking in a child in need. I have 5 nieces and nephews who were first foster children and then adopted by my brothers and their wives and another foster nephew I hope can eventually join our family. These are children who have been through horrible neglect and abuse. They have found a loving, supportive environment and have thrived with my brothers and their families.
Yet there is absolutely no reason these children would not have done just as well with a single parent, or with a same-sex couple. These children just want to have someone in their lives who loves them and provides them with a stable, supportive environment in which to rebuild their lives. All who are willing to provide this environment should be given equal consideration as adoptive/foster parents.
There are plenty of frighteningly messed up, disfunctional nuclear families - some of my neices and nephews were placed in these disastrous homes before they came to my brothers' houses. The sole factor in choosing placements should be the best interest of the children, not the labels placed on the prospective adoptive/foster homes by others.
I hope you will act in the best interest of Virginia's children in need by prohibiting discrimination in placement of foster and adoptive children.
Julie M. Sibbing