Share Your Story: Discrimination in Adoption and Foster Care

We are collecting stories from same-sex couples and LGBTQ+ people who have faced discrimination when fostering and adopting children because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity or the agency’s religious beliefs. These stories may be included in an important case that is before the U.S. Supreme Court!

About the case

In Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, Catholic Social Services is claiming that it has the right to receive taxpayer funds even though it refuses to comply with the City of Philadelphia’s non-discrimination requirement that prohibits all City contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, among other protected classes. The City of Philadelphia has won in the lower courts, but Catholic Social Services appealed and the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

At its heart, this case is about whether government funded foster care agencies have a “right” to discriminate based on their religious beliefs, and the ruling could have broad implications beyond the foster care context.

How is Family Equality involved?

Family Equality is writing an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief that will share the real-life experiences of prospective and existing foster and adoptive parents who are LGBTQ+ people with the Supreme Court to help the Justices understand the impact of this decision.

We are especially interested in stories from same-sex couples and LGBTQ+ people who, for example:

  • Were delayed, deterred, or prevented from fostering or adopting children from child welfare agencies due to discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion;
  • Inquired about fostering or adopting a child and were turned away because they are LGBTQ+ and know that the child was not placed in another foster or adoptive home (for example, they remained on the foster/adoption registry for an extended period of time;
  • Experienced significant delays in fostering or adopting a child due to discrimination;
  • Relocated to a different locality to foster or adopt due to barriers where they lived;
  • Seriously considered or explored fostering or adopting but did not do so due to actual or feared discrimination and pursued other avenues of family formation.

If you have experienced one of these situations, please use the form on this page to share your information with us as soon as possible.

To learn more, contact Family Equality’s Co-Directors of State Policy: