Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, will hold a panel discussion Thursday on Capitol Hill to mark the re-introduction of his “Every Child Deserves a Family Act,” a bill his office says would “open more homes to foster children by working with states to end discrimination against adoptive and foster parents based on sexual orientation and marital status.”
The panelists will include:
Jason Hoffmaster, an adoptive parent and foster care alumnus who lives in Seattle with his partner and their four adopted sons; he’s also a board member for Amara Parenting, a private foster care and adoption agency in Seattle.
Martin Gill, who with his partner of more than eight years has been raising two foster children since 2004; they’re now involved in a lawsuit against Florida’s policy that automatically denies adoption by gays and lesbians.
Leslie Cooper, an American Civil Liberties Union senior staff attorney who is the lead attorney in Gill’s case.
Uma Ahluwalia, director of the Department of Health and Human Services for Montgomery County, Maryland; she previously served as principal deputy director and interim director for the Child and Family Services Agency in the District of Columbia.
Charlotte J. Patterson, a University of Virginia psychology professor who is among the nation’s foremost researchers on the psychology of sexual orientation; her particular research emphasis is on child development in the context of lesbian- and gay-parented families.
Gary J. Gates, a senior research fellow at the Williams Institute in the UCLA School of Law and co-author of The Gay and Lesbian Atlas; he’s known as a leading expert on the demography and geography of the gay and lesbian population.