Children's Rights

465,828 supporters

    Started 4 petitions

    Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

    End Foster Care & Adoption Discrimination! Support the Every Child Deserves a Family Act

    The Problem Right now, there are nearly 450,000 children in the foster care system nationwide. But despite a shortage of foster homes, our government is allowing taxpayer-funded discrimination based on the religious beliefs of foster care and adoption provider agencies. That means agencies can turn away otherwise qualified potential foster parents—particularly LGBTQ and religious minority parents—based on the agency's religious beliefs. Where is this discrimination legal? Ten states already have provisions that allow for such taxpayer-funded discrimination, and similar bills have been introduced in several other states. Now, the Trump administration is reportedly planning to give adoption agencies a license to discriminate nationwide. Learn more here. The Solution Support the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (ECDF). This bill would open up more loving homes to youth by banning discrimination against LGBTQ and religious minority parents. ECDF would also prohibit discrimination against children and would improve services to LGBTQ and religious minority youth. Introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the Senate and co-introduced by Congress Members John Lewis and Jenniffer González-Colón in the House, ECDF represents an opportunity to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of children. Add your name to support this bill today.

    Children's Rights
    85,390 supporters
    Petitioning Tennessee State Senate, Randy McNally, Ferrell Haile, Janice Bowling

    Stop Discrimination in Tennessee Foster Care!

    We need your help: Tennessee is close to passing a bill that would allow discrimination in foster care and adoption based on the religious beliefs of provider agencies. Tell your Senators you oppose SB 1304, which would enshrine taxpayer-funded discrimination in the child welfare system. Sign this petition and add your voice opposing SB 1304. Tomorrow, on Tuesday, April 30th at 8:30 AM (CT), SB 1304 will be brought for a vote on the Senate floor. Join us in taking action to stop this dangerous bill. What makes SB 1304 so dangerous? 1. SB 1304 would limit the number of homes available to foster children. With nearly 8,000 children in Tennessee foster care statewide, children need access to safe and loving homes. This bill directly harms children in care by limiting the number and diversity of placements available to them. 2. SB 1304 would permit discrimination against prospective parents. And it's not only the LGBTQ community that could be discriminated against. The bill would permit faith-based providers to turn away anyone who does not meet their religious litmus test, including Catholic or Jewish individuals, as happened recently in South Carolina. 3. SB 1304 could even permit discrimination against children. The language of SB 1304 is so broad that it could potentially allow discrimination against foster children themselves, particularly LGBTQ youth or children of different faiths than the agency to which they are assigned. Tell your Senators you oppose SB 1304: Sign the petition now!

    Children's Rights
    193 supporters
    Petitioning Roger Severino, Director of the Office for Civil Rights, Department of Health & Human Services

    Don’t Give Foster Care Agencies a #LicenseToDiscriminate!

    South Carolina is facing a severe shortage of homes for the more than 4,500 children in foster care. Yet the state has requested a federal waiver that would further limit available homes by allowing discrimination against prospective foster care parents. The waiver, if granted, would permit foster care agencies to deny applications of Jewish, LGBTQ, Muslim, or others on the basis of religious belief. One South Carolina agency, Miracle Hill Ministries, reportedly turned away a Jewish applicant based on religious grounds. “This waiver is a blatant attempt to sanction discrimination,” said Christina Wilson Remlin, lead counsel at Children’s Rights. “No child should be denied a safe and loving home simply because a prospective parent does not pass a religious or moral litmus test.” Children’s Rights will continue to work with its partners to advocate for children in state care. Last month, we led a coalition of 20 leading nonprofit children’s organizations and advocates urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to reject this waiver. In our letter, we explain that the requested waiver would permit federally-funded discrimination based on religious belief in violation of the First Amendment. We cannot allow the federal government to condone South Carolina’s attempt to discriminate against families who could provide safe and loving homes to children who so desperately need them. Please sign and share our petition to Roger Severino, Director of the Office for Civil Rights, Department of Health & Human Services. The safety of our children hangs in the balance.

    Children's Rights
    10 supporters
    Petitioning Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

    Keep them together! Stop separating children from their families at the U.S. border.

    The New York Times reported that since October 2017 more than 700 children have been separated along the southwest border from adults claiming to be their parents, including 100 children under the age of 4. Many of these children remain in custody indefinitely apart from their parents. “Needlessly ripping kids, toddlers, babies away from their parents is inhumane, barbaric and unconstitutional. An Administration that purports to uphold family values is callously inflicting devastating trauma on children and families in service of its punitive immigration policies,” said Sandy Santana, Executive Director of Children’s Rights. In an amicus brief filed in March on behalf of an asylum seeker separated from her seven-year old daughter, Children’s Rights explained that the traumatic stress that a child experiences when needlessly separated from a parent may have life-long consequences because it can disrupt the development of brain architecture and other organ systems and increase the risk of stress-related diseases and cognitive impairment well into the adult years. You can read more about the amicus brief here.Children’s Rights will work with its partners to continue to advocate for immigrant children separated from their families. As Christina Remlin, Lead Attorney and author of our amicus brief put it: “How can we tuck our children in at night, knowing that our government is doing this to other parents who love theirs as much as we do? How do we inflict such cruel trauma on children?” Please sign and share our petition to Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Kirstjen M. Nielsen. About Children’s Rights Every day, children are harmed by America’s broken child welfare, juvenile justice, education, and healthcare systems. Through relentless strategic advocacy and legal action, we hold governments accountable for keeping kids safe and healthy. Children’s Rights has made a lasting impact, protecting hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children and we are poised to help millions more. They are depending on us…and you.    

    Children's Rights
    380,235 supporters