On May 17, 2013, Adoption Connection of Jewish Family and Children’s Services was honored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for our work with LGBTQ+ families. Ellen Kahn, Director of HRC’s Family Project, came to personally present the All Children – All Families Agency Seal of Recognition*. As many of you know, we have welcomed LGBTQ+ families in our adoption program since its inception in 1985. Being inclusive seemed completely natural and normal to us when we started out, and LGBTQ+ outreach has been an integral part of our program for 28 years.
Ellen acknowledged that while Adoption Connection has been providing services to LGBTQ+ families for many years, “The fact that you still took the time and energy required to make sure you met the standards set by the HRC for best practices is a good role model for other adoption agencies.” Leah Sheldon spearheaded the work internally, completing all 10 benchmarks of LGBTQ+ competence outlined in the HRC guidelines.
Nancy Goldberg, JFCS Board President, joined the Adoption Connection staff, along with Executive Director Dr. Anita Friedman and two adoptive families, who took part in the celebration. Nancy spoke about JFCS’s long commitment to providing services to all members of our community, regardless of sexual orientation.
After the speeches and the seal presented, corks were popped and Champagne flowed. Cookies and strawberries were served, and a game of “Ashes, Ashes, All Fall Down” was played by children and adults alike.
We are grateful to our LGBTQ+ adoptive families because they enrich our lives, make Adoption Connection a great place to work, and help ensure that children have loving supportive homes.
*The All Children – All Families (ACAF) initiative seeks to enhance LGBTQ+ cultural competence among child welfare professionals and educate LGBTQ+ people about opportunities to become foster or adoptive parents to waiting children. We thank Ellen, and the Human Rights Campaign, for their efforts in protecting and supporting the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Find out about the good work of the HRC.