Section 3.18 of CWLA’s Standards of Excellence for Family Foster Care Services establishes a policy of nondiscrimination in the selection of foster parents, stating, “The family foster care agency should not reject foster parent applicants solely due to their age, income, marital status, race, religious preference, sexual orientation, physical or disabling condition, or location of the foster home” (CWLA, 1995).

CWLA also articulates a strong position on the issue of nondiscrimination of adoptive applicants. Section 4.7 of the Standards of Excellence for Adoption Services states, “All applicants should be assessed on the basis of their abilities to successfully parent a child needing family membership and not on their race, ethnicity or culture, income, age, marital status, religion, appearance, differing lifestyle, or sexual orientation. Applicants should be accepted on the basis of an individual assessment of their capacity to understand and meet the needs of a particular available child at the point of the adoption and in the future” (CWLA, 2000).


Youth who are LGBTQ and have been rejected, abused or neglected by their family because of their identities are at serious risk for health problems in adulthood. All youth should be afforded the same treatment and respect regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The child welfare system must ensure youth in care who are LGBTQ receive support, acceptance and access to coping strategies to help them successfully transition to adulthood..