There are over 400,000 children living in the US foster care system. In 2015, 111,820 of those children were waiting to be adopted. The average age of a waiting child is 7.6 years. The average time the waiting child has been in foster care is almost three years. In the same year, 20,789 children aged out of the foster care system, having never been reunited with their families or adopted. Sadly, any contact with the foster care system often serves to perpetuate cycles of poverty, crime, neglect, and abuse.
Having over 100,000 children in foster care waiting to find a permanent home is a national tragedy, and it is right to demand that it be as easy as possible to match them with loving families. However, it is also the case that there are over two million couples in the United States waiting to adopt, and an estimated two million LGBT people interested in adoption. Given the millions of people waiting to adopt, there should be more than enough prospective adoptive parents—same-sex and opposite-sex couples—to welcome these children. And yet, the children wait, and they suffer. But it is not because of lack of loving, qualified “forever families,” and it is not because some faith-based providers prioritize married, heterosexual couples.