Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA) re-introduces the Every Child Deserves a Family Act

Rep Pete Stark (D-CA) is hosting a panel discussion on the “Every
Child Deserves a Family Act.”Panelists will include foster children
who will discuss their experiences in the foster care system,
parents who have been prevented from adopting their foster children
because of state laws prohibiting gays, lesbians and bisexuals from
adopting, and experts on foster care and LGBT family issues.

The Every Child Deserves a Family Act takes into consideration the
best interests of children in the foster care system by focusing on
increasing their access to permanent homes through working with
states to eliminate laws, policies, practices and procedures that
categorically exclude potential adoptive and foster parents because
of their sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.

When: March 11, 2010 from 1:30 – 3:00 PM EST

Where: U.S. Capitol, Room H-137, Washington, D.C.

Panelists Include:

  • Martin Gill, an adoptive parent, along with his partner of more
    than eight years has been raising two foster children of the state
    since 2004. They are currently involved in a lawsuit against
    Florida’s law that automatically denies adoption by gays and
  • Leslie Cooper, senior staff attorney for the American Civil
    Liberties Union, is the lead attorney in the In re: Gill
  • Charlotte J. Patterson, Professor of Psychology at the
    University of Virginia, is one of the nation’s foremost researchers
    on child development in the context of lesbian- and gay-parented
  • Gary J. Gates, Senior Research Fellow at the Williams
    Institute, UCLA School of Law, is widely acknowledged as the
    nation’s leading expert on the demography and geography of the gay
    and lesbian population.
  • Uma Ahluwalia is Director of the Department of Health and Human
    Services for Montgomery County, Maryland. Previously, she served as
    Principal Deputy Director and Interim Director for the Child and
    Family Services Agency in the District of Columbia.
  • Nakea Paige and Kendra Langley, DC foster care alumni, will
    discuss their experiences in the child welfare system and the
    challenges they faced in “aging out” of the system without having
    found a permanent family.
  • Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director, Family Equality Council
    will moderate the discussion.

Sponsoring Organizations:

  • The Family Equality Council works to ensure full social and
    legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families
    by providing direct support, educating the American public, and
    securing inclusion in legislation, policies, and practices
    impacting families.
  • PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay,
    bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends
    through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to
    enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end
    discrimination and to secure equal civil rights.
  • The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues is
    an association of approximately 3000 psychologists, allied
    scientists, and others, who are interested in the application of
    research on the psychological aspects of important social issues to
    public policy solutions.
  • The American Psychological Association is the largest
    scientific and professional organization representing psychology in
    the United States and is the world’s largest association of
    psychologists. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology
    and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial
    associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a
    profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human