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US health department wants to cut information on LGBTI foster kids

US health department wants to cut information on LGBTI foster kids

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The Trump-Pence administration is proposing cutting another Obama-era regulation, this time having to do with LGBTI children in foster care.

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a new document in the Federal Registry on Friday (19 April). It proposes cutting information on sexual orientation and gender identity from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS).

Originally adopted in December 2016 right before Barack Obama left office, the goal of collecting this information was ‘to help meet the needs of LGBTQ youth in foster care’.

Collected information also pertains to LGBTI parents looking to foster.

The HHS justifies cutting the collection of this information because ‘a third of the states expressed concerns with the data elements
around sexual orientation and recommended they be removed’.

If information on sexual orientation and gender identity ‘is important to decisions affecting the child’, then it will remain in the case file.

Otherwise, the states said ‘asking for sexual orientation may be perceived as intrusive and worrisome to those who have experienced trauma and discrimination as a result of gender identity or sexual orientation’.

Ultimately, the HHS states ‘it is clear that AFCARS is not the appropriate vehicle to collect this information’.

LGBTI advocates are concerned

A 2014 study by the HHS found that around one in five children in foster care identity as LGBTI. It also showed they are twice as likely to suffer negative experiences.

‘LGBTQ youth are tragically overrepresented in foster care, and this attempt to erase them and important data on adoptive and foster parents undermines efforts to address the marginalization, harassment and discrimination that LGBTQ youth in foster care and families face,’ said David Stacy, Government Affairs Director at the Human Rights Campaign.

‘It’s crucial that fair-minded voices speak out now and demand that HHS reject this proposed rule change.’

This proposal follows several states trying to pass laws allowing foster care agencies to reject same-sex couples based on religious and moral convictions, as well as agencies suing to do the same.

See also

Charlize Theron reveals her daughter is trans and she fully supports her

Trans fairy tale becomes most funded LGBTI children’s book on Kickstarter

Pediatricians demand kids join gay-straight alliances without being outed