You know what is the worst? Adoption agencies who discriminate! So how do you know your agency welcomes you? Check out our list of five immediate ways to know if your agency is LGBTQ affirming.
Their language is inclusive
Language matters. We know this. So are their words welcoming? Is their vibe welcoming? From the moment, their website pops up – does it speak to you? Does it speak to the family you want to create? You deserve words that welcome you.
Their environment is welcoming
Do you see signs that make you cringe? Or are you seeing pictures in the agency's entry way and in their offices that represent your family? The best agencies are loud and proud with their support. Like I'm talking fly your rainbow flag type of support! You deserve to know, without hesitation, that you are welcome here.
Their staff is legit
Do you feel like all staff are welcoming – from the person who answers the call to the person who accepts your application to the person who will be your ongoing contact. You want to make sure they all get it. Also, you want to make sure whoever they partner with get it too. What attorneys do they use for example? Are the people who will make up your team really going to have your family's best interest at heart? You deserve a team who is legit from loving you to loving the mama you are matched with. Team matters here.
They are fighting with you
It's awesome if they are screaming their inclusivity from the mountain tops, but are they fighting the good fight too? Making sure their language and environment are welcoming is one thing, but seeing that they are taking real action in your community to fight with you matters too.
They have the Human Rights Campaign seal of approval
The Human Right Campaign has created benchmarks that agencies can apply to meet to be considered a "Leader in Supporting and Serving LGBTQ Families". So this is honestly an important check in your process. In fact, start here! These benchmarks are no joke. You can find all agencies that are backed by HRC at the link below:https://www.hrc.org/resources/all-children-all-families-list-of-participating-agencies
You deserve the best, because you are the best. Don't ever forget that!
Molly Rampe Thomas is founder and CEO of Choice Network, an adoption agency that trusts people and their choices. The agency is on a mission to change the definition of family by welcoming all pregnant people, all children, all families, and all choices. Choice Network truly believes in the power of love and never backs down to fight for good. For more information, visit choicenetworkadoptions.com