By Randie Bencanann, LCSW
On Friday, May 17, Adoption Connection of Jewish Family and Children’s Services was honored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for our work with LGBT families. Ellen Kahn, Director of HRC’s Family Project, came to personally present the All Children – All Families Agency Seal of Recognition*. As many of you know, we have welcomed LGBT families in our adoption program since its inception in 1985. Being inclusive seemed completely natural and normal to us when we started out, and LGBT outreach has been an integral part of our program for 28 years.
Ellen acknowledged that while Adoption Connection has been providing services to LGBT families for many years, “The fact that you still took the time and energy required to make sure you met the standards set by the HRC for best practices is a good role model for other adoption agencies.” Leah Sheldon spearheaded the work internally, completing all 10 benchmarks of LGBT competence outlined in the HRC guidelines.
Nancy Goldberg, JFCS Board President, joined the Adoption Connection staff, along with Executive Director Dr. Anita Friedman and two adoptive families, who took part in the celebration. Nancy spoke about JFCS’s long commitment to providing services to all members of our community, regardless of sexual orientation.
After the speeches and the seal presented, corks were popped and Champagne flowed. Cookies and strawberries were served, and a game of “Ashes, Ashes, All Fall Down” was played by children and adults alike.
We are grateful to our LGBT adoptive families because they enrich our lives, make Adoption Connection a great place to work, and help ensure that children have loving supportive homes.
*The All Children – All Families (ACAF) initiative seeks to enhance LGBT cultural competence among child welfare professionals and educate LGBT people about opportunities to become foster or adoptive parents to waiting children. We thank Ellen, and the Human Rights Campaign, for their efforts in protecting and supporting the rights of the LGBT community. Find out about the good work of the HRC.