Latest News as of August 14, 2019
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Posted by: Marisa Murakami
California Assembly Bill (AB) 175 aims to ensure LGBTQ foster youth won't have to endure any kind of discrimination from their foster families. This bill is sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D) and it updates the state's Foster Youth Bill of Rights, which was written 20 years ago. This bill proposes to add explicit protections and assurances for LGBTQ youth in the system as well as set an expectation of culturally competent care. It also addresses rights not related to sexual and gender identity such as rights to attend independent living classes, to work and maintain a personal income, as well as get assistance with financial issues. Research suggests that LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the foster care system and have little access to adults who can help them navigate their unique challenges.
Michigan Ferris State University President David Eisler and his wife, Patsy, have established a $350,000 scholarship endowment to support foster youth at the school. The Ferris Foundation is matching this endowment for a total of $700,000 in honor of Patsy's adoptive parents. This gift establishes the Norris and Irene Johnson Scholarship Endowment by providing financial assistance of $5,000 per year toward the cost of full-time, former foster youth who are pursuing a bachelor's degree. These students will be known as Johnson's Scholars will utilize a host of academic, professional and life skills support services.
New York legislative session has passed a flurry of progressive bills that reflect the change in how we understand adoption by recognizing the need to expand family ties instead of obliterating them. The first bill allows adoptees to access their original, long-form birth certificates to help understand their own origins. The second bill is the Preserving Family Bonds Act, which allows judges to order post-adoption contact when terminating parental rights, allowing the judge the ability to provide contact when it is in the child's best interest.
CALL FOR ACTION from Voice for Adoption - The latest Voice for Adoption advocacy updates can be found here.
Aderholt Amendment update from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation can be found here.