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HATW welcomes and affirms LGBTQ+ families

HATW is saddened to report that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in response to the Supreme Court decision Fulton vs. City of Philadelphia, has signed a settlement agreement with St. Vincent Catholic Charities in a court case asserting the agency’s right to exclude LGBTQ+ individuals and couples from fostering or adopting children under their care. The State must now continue to allow private, taxpayer funded agencies that provide foster care services to vulnerable children to violate its own non-discrimination policy. At HATW, we would like to affirm publicly our continued commitment to supporting and welcoming LGBTQ+ families and children. “LGBTQ+ children are present in the population of foster youth at higher rates than the population at large,” said HATW Executive Director Katie Page Sander, “imagine the additional trauma inflicted upon young people whose cases are being handled by agencies that deny adults with a desire to either act as foster or adoptive parents. What does that tell them their future holds? Even more doors being closed against them, and the message that it’s not safe for them to be who they are.” In 2021, Hands Across The Water marked a decade of being recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s All Children, All Families program for its work to actively welcome LGBTQ+ foster parents, adoptive parents, and young people. It is only one of two agencies in Michigan to reach the HRC’s highest tier, that of Innovative Inclusion. “We are always in need of foster parents, and if you have had doubts about being welcomed at other agencies, we want you to know that HATW’s doors are open to you.”

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