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The Adoption Exchange is honored to have received the All Children – All Families Seal of Recognition from the Human Rights Campaign. We are proud to be recognized for our commitment to support and serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) children, youth, and families. This organization-wide policy applies to The Adoption Exchange’s work across the U.S. including our seven member states: Colorado, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

ACAFseal_2017-FamiliesIn order to receive this designation, The Adoption Exchange achieved 10 Benchmarks of LGBTQ Cultural Competency:

  1. Client Non-Discrimination
  2. Employment Non-Discrimination
  3. Organizational Partnerships & Non-Discrimination
  4. Agency Forms
  5. Staff Training
  6. Staff Advocates
  7. Client-Based Feedback & Community Expertise
  8. Agency Environment & External Communications
  9. Training & Support for Resource Families
  10. Client Services & Referrals

To demonstrate excellence and fully inclusive practices in each of these areas we had to make some changes, update our processes, create a few new procedures, and continue to build upon our existing commitment to affirming and inclusive practice with LGBTQ children, youth, and families. Here is a look at some of the most exciting updates and accomplishments we’ve made:

We Updated our Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Employer Policies

CO Mission and ND 2The All Children – All Families Project resonates deeply with The Adoption Exchange’s mission to connect children waiting in foster care with families who adopt. In the words of Josh Shipp, we believe that “every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.” Our Client Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Employment policies reinforce our commitment to serve all children and all families and to make employment decisions without regard to sexual identity, gender identity, or gender expression. Read more about our policies on our website.

We Added New Information to our Website

We are excited to launch a brand-new section of our webpage, highlighting a variety of resources and supports for LGBTQ children and youth and their families, as well as LGBTQ current and potential resource parents and their children. Some of the new features include:

  • Lending Library with LGBTQ-specific titles
  • Referrals to LGBTQ-competent mental health professionals
  • Online resource library
  • Information about LGBTQ-serving organizations
  • Access to Staff Advocates

Visit our website at www.adoptex.org/lgbtq for more information.

We Implemented Staff Advocates

We see youOne of the new features we are most proud of is the creation of two Staff Advocates. These advocates serve as The Adoption Exchange’s “go to” people for LGBTQ-related questions, challenges, resources, ideas, and opportunities. They also provide advocacy, support, and intervention on behalf of LGBTQ children, youth, families, and LGBTQ employees of The Adoption Exchange.

The Adoption Exchange LGBTQ Staff Advocates are available to answer questions and provide support to youth, families, professionals, and staff in all states that The Adoption Exchange serves. We invite you to reach out to either Staff Advocate with any need you may have.

Our current Staff Advocates are:

Tracy Serdjenian

Chelsea Taylor

Tracy Chelsea
Pronouns: she, her, hers Pronouns: she, her, hers
Title: NRCDR Interim Project Director Title: Adoption Recruitment Director
Email: tserdjenian@adoptex.org Email: ctaylor@adoptex.org

Learn more about the role and responsibilities of The Adoption Exchange’s Staff Advocates.

What’s Next?

We are incredibly proud of these recent accomplishments and to be honored with the All Children – All Families Seal of Recognition and we also know that our work towards full inclusion in the adoption community does not stop here. Our commitment to support and serve LGBTQ children, youth, and families is ongoing. We will continue to grow our staff capacity as well as our LGBTQ Resources List as new materials become available. You can play a part in this process by letting us know what type of information you’d like to see. What supports have been most valuable to you? What information do you need? What additional updates to our website would you like to see? Are you a part of a community organization that serves LGBTQ youth and families? If you are an LGBTQ adoptive parent, what advice would you give to someone just starting the process? Let us know what you think by commenting below! 

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