LGBT Community Center Plans Event For Prospective Parents

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City’s child welfare agency wants more gay and lesbian foster parents.

The Administration for Children’s Services is launching a campaign to expand the kinds of families who consider fostering and also to find welcoming homes for children who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, The Wall Street Journal reported.

One of the ads set to roll out this week features an interracial gay couple making dinner with a child with the message, “Be the reason she has hope.”

Another ad features a foster mother with a teenage boy with the message, “Be the reason it gets better.” The ad calls for New Yorkers to “help an LGBTQ child by becoming an LGBTQ-affirming foster or adoptive parent.”

As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, the ACS said there is a disproportionately high number of LGBT foster kids and teens.

“We need more New Yorkers to step forward,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn told Silverman on Monday. “The reality is many of those children who are forced to live on the street are LGBT.”

She said the ad campaign recruiting not just gay and lesbian couples but LGBT-affirming parents is badly needed.

“To have foster parents who can be particularly sensitive and maybe have gone through a similar experience, I think it’s going to be very helpful to those children and I applaud ACS for doing this,” Quinn said. “This is going to be very helpful in increasing the numbers overall, also having LGBT folks for children who feel that would be the best place for them or ACS staff who feel that would be the best place for them.”

The executive director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center said many gay New Yorkers don’t realize that the city allows them to become foster parents.

Peter Decaro and Kevin Leavy of Brooklyn became foster parents to a 2-year-old girl and a 17-month-old boy in December.

Decaro said he can’t imagine life without them.

The center will hold an event Thursday for prospective parents where they can speak with children in the care of foster parents and discuss the process of becoming foster parents with agency representatives.

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