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LGBT Families

LGBT families are part of the American fabric. Two million children are being raised by lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender parents. Children of gay and lesbian parents live in 96% of U.S. counties—and decades of research shows that those children grow up as happy, healthy and well-adjusted as their peers.

So why do our laws systematically stand in the way of allowing children of LGBT parents to thrive?

Current laws deny loving, forever homes to the 115,000 children awaiting adoption. They deny children of LGBT families legal ties to both their parents, meaning that families live in fear due to uncertain family ties. They can wrongly separate children from their parents in cases of divorce or the death of a parent. They deny basic government aid and safety net programs to children of LGBT parents simply because their family doesn’t meet a legal definition of family in a particular state. They can deny access to parents’ health insurance coverage, quality child care and early childhood education programs, Social Security Survivor benefits, inheritance, and more.

These outdated, harmful laws not only ignore and hurt the roughly 2 million children being raised by LGBT parents, they also hurt children in other family configurations, including those with unmarried heterosexual parents.

Public policy has not kept up with the changing reality of the American family. Without common-sense policy solutions that address the needs of LGBT and other families, our laws will continue to hurt children of LGBT parents and make it more difficult for them to reach their full potential.


All Children Matter: Condensed Version

This 34-page “digest” version of All Children Matter provides a high-level understanding of how legal and social inequalities hurt children of LGBT families—and how children have become collateral damage of laws designed to hurt LGBT people. View the Report

Securing Legal Ties for Children Living in LGBT Families

Learn how the lack of legal recognition for LGBT families hurts children—and how state policymakers can draft, pass and enact laws that protect all children, including those living with LGBT parents and in other contemporary family structures. View the Report

All Children Matter: Executive Summary

This executive summary—featured in the Full Report of All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families—provides key findings in capsule form, as well as an overview of the report's policy recommendations. View the Report

All Children Matter: Full Report

Read the comprehensive analysis of how our nation’s laws and policies fail to protect 2 million children with LGBT parents—and how common-sense solutions could end the inequalities that create barriers for children in LGBT families. View the Report

Finding Children Forever Homes: LGBT Foster & Adoptive Families

MAP, Family Equality Council, the Center for American Progress, the ACLU and the Human Rights Campaign report on how LGBT families can help fill the pressing need for loving, stable foster and adoptive homes for waiting children. View the Report

An Ally’s Guide to Talking About Adoption by LGBT Parents

Focus conversations about parenting, adoption and LGBT parents on how they create loving, stable homes for kids and help ensure that children have the nurturing environment that allows them to thrive and succeed. View the Guide

Unequal Taxation and Undue Burdens for LGBT Families

MAP, Family Equality Council and the Center for American Progress report on the income tax inequities faced by LGBT families, and how they are denied tax exemptions, credits and deductions that help families ease the financial burdens of raising children. View the Report

LGBT Families: Facts At a Glance

Access easy-to-navigate charts, maps and tables examining key population data on LGBT families, snapshots of how laws and policies hurt children with LGBT parents at the federal and state levels, and more in this companion document to All Children Matter. View the Report

Obstacles & Opportunities: Ensuring Health & Wellness for LGBT Families

MAP, Family Equality Council, the Center for American Progress and the National Coalition for LGBT Health examine the obstacles faced by LGBT families as they seek access to a range of health services, health insurance, and equitable tax treatment. View the Report

Strengthening Economic Security for Children Living in LGBT Families

MAP, Family Equality Council, the Center for American Progress and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) report on how inequitable laws hurt children with LGBT parents and contribute to higher rates of child poverty. View the Report

LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a Glance

Outdated laws that ignore contemporary families have a disproportionately negative impact on children of color. This brief looks at LGBT families of color and how they can be devastated by intersections of laws, stigma and race-based discrimination. View the Report

YouTube Video: All Children Matter

This 60-second video highlights some of the specific legal and social inequalities—from the denial of access to a parent’s health insurance coverage to the denial of legal protections if a parent becomes disabled or dies—that hurt children of LGBT parents. Watch the Video

Issue Brief: How DOMA Harms Children

MAP, Family Equality Council and the Center for American Progress partner with the Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry to examine how DOMA denies children basic rights and safety nets—just because their parents are gay. Read the Issue Brief

Event Video: All Children Matter Launch

Watch the Oct. 25 launch event for All Children Matter at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., featuring Maryland Atty. Gen. Douglas Gansler, the Rev. Dr. Dennis W. Wiley, MAP Executive Director Ineke Mushovic, and more. Watch the Video