Recognizing that we live in a homophobic world, we want to create safe places where LGBTQ adoptive parents can find community and share strategies and information. We have worked with many LGBTQ parents who have adopted and parented children of color with great success. Often, people who have experienced prejudice of one kind are better prepared to handle it in another form. Children who have grown up with LGBTQ parents have sometimes told us that they felt their parents were more accepting and unbiased about both racial and adoption issues, having already faced so much prejudice themselves. At the same time, the additional challenges and targeting by those who don't support the validity of LGBTQ headed families/LGBTQ families makes us ever aware of the value of peer-to-peer support.
Feel free to contact Pact with suggestions for other ways we can serve the community.
Pact works to make adoption ethical and accessible by ensuring that Placement, Community, Education and Support are available to all qualified parents and families. We focus on four areas of growth for families that we know make a difference in making them the best possible parents they can be:
Recognizing that we live in a homophobic world, Pact is intentional in supporting LGBTQ parents during their adoption process.
“Adoption is many things. It is a complex and unique process that has given us a better understanding of each other and our sense of resilience, patience, and above all unconditional love. Adoption, to us, means respect, love and connection. As we wait for a placement we are thankful for Pact’s support, time and dedication to our family. We are relieved knowing that we are working with an organization that values our status as a Gay couple as well as people of color because we know that there are so many other agencies and professionals that do not.”
Pictured from left to right: James & David. Pre-adoptive parents.
Pact recognizes that adoptive parents of color, in particular LGBTQ parents of color and their parenting partners are underserved in adoption.
Post-placement services for LGBTQ families of color include support groups, chat groups and workshops specifically for LGBTQ parents.
"When we were first looking into adoption we were relieved to find an organization that was focused on supporting adoptees of color. We appreciated the honesty that we received about both our family's strengths and the challenges we would face. Pact has done so much more than match us with our son. We believe that the education, advocacy, support and community we have found through Pact have made our family stronger."
Pictured from left to right: Malik & Celia.
Expanded Definitions of Family to Include Heritage, Culture & Identity Results in Deeper Connections and Stronger Self Esteem for Adopted Children
“As a queer-identified couple, a Latina immigrant social worker and a teacher, we knew that our sons would thrive in an environment in which they were surrounded by others that shared their identities, specifically, other Black & Brown children & adults. We are privileged to be able to live in an area where our family’s multiple identities are reflected and supported. Our journey of asserting our sometimes-marginalized experiences has helped our sons as they explore their own identities. The very nature of our multicultural, multilingual & multiracial family with 2 adoptive moms and a birth mom is indeed a way we can contribute to a new and expanded definition of family. We have seen how essential it is to give our boys permission to embrace their birth heritage both racially and in loving their first mother and family, because they deserve to belong to all their communities.”
For Patty and Kristina, becoming parents through adoption has meant expanding their family to include their twin boys’ birth mother so that together, they all support Oliver and Niko in their journeys of identity. Open adoption for them doesn’t mean simply acknowledging the connections for first and adoptive family members. It means working together in love to help their boys find comfort and have agency, embrace their full selves in the world.
Some parents are afraid to give their children permission to embrace their first family and/or racial identity. But when we give children permission to fully explore their intersectionalities, children gain a stronger sense of belonging and connectedness not only to their communities, but also to their adoptive parents.
Creating Community Beyond Your Own Comfort Zone Is Essential So Learning Never Ends.
When Michael Ginther and Jim O’Donnell met and fell in love, they were each grateful to have found a life partner. But they were both disappointed to have missed out on becoming parents. Michael says, “When I came out as gay, my biggest concern was that it might mean I could never have kids. I am grateful every day to be Dad.”
When Jim and Michael decided to adopt, they assumed they would be adopting across racial lines. Aware of Pact early on, they attend several Pact workshops on transracial adoption. After becoming the parents of a Native American and an African American child, they waited to attend Pact Family Camp, wondering each year whether the girls were old enough to get something out of an immersive experience with other families like theirs. In 2012, when Audy was six and Emma was almost nine, they decided the time was right. “Now we wish we had gone much earlier!” Michael says. Jim concurs. “Going to Pact Camp is the best thing we have ever done as a family.”
They have been attending every year since!
After more than a decade of parenting, Jim and Michael continue to learn and grow with the help of Pact. And both Emma and Audy have found the Pact Family Camp experience to be empowering, providing each a new language to talk about adoption and race. They love being surrounded by other adopted children of color, and Audy in particular loves that “the counselors are chocolate like me!” Both girls are eager to go back each year.
Jim says, “We just try to keep listening to our children and learning from them—as well as reading books, attending workshops, and talking to other parents. Community with families like ours as well as adult mentors of color, adoptees and birth parents has been essential to us as a family.”
Private Facebook Group for LGBTQ Adoptive Parents of Children of Color.
Recognizing that we live in a homophobic world, we want to create safe places where LGBTQ adoptive parents can find community and share strategies and information. This group is for LGBTQ adoptive parents with children of color (and those planning to adopt a child of color) as they navigate the specific challenges of adoption and race in an LGBTQ-headed family. Parents of all racial backgrounds are welcome.
Register to join this group » (Pact membership while not required is encouraged to help keep Pact funded to provide services to adopted children of color, their families and friends).