National Center for Lesbian Rights

our work youth foster care.625

Foster Care

Photo Courtesy Lambda Legal

LGBTQ youth constitute about 20% of youth in foster care—over twice their numbers in the general population. The trauma that leads to their separation from their families and communities is exacerbated when LGBTQ foster youth languish in multiple institutional settings in which they are unsafe, unseen and unsupported. NCLR advocates for child welfare policies that promote the safety and well-being of LGBTQ youth by preventing their unnecessary entry into foster care, reunifying them with their families whenever possible and ensuring that they receive the love and support that all youth need to thrive.


Legislation & Policy

getREAL National


NCLR is a partner in the getREAL (Recognize. Engage. Affirm. Love.) project, a national initiative sponsored by the Center for the Study of Social Policy. The getREAL collaborative works to transform child welfare policy nationally to promote the healthy development of LGBTQ and gender expansive youth through working intensively with sites, supporting a national professional network and developing research-based knowledge in the child welfare field.


Cases & Advocacy

Fulton v. City of Philadelphia

Pennsylvania, Nationwide

Catholic Social Services (CSS), a foster care agency, brought the lawsuit claiming a constitutional right to discriminate against same-sex potential foster parents in violation of the agency’s contract with the City of Philadelphia and the City’s anti-discrimination ordinance. The district court denied CSS’s motion for a preliminary injunction, and CSS appealed.



Press Release

CA First to Guarantee Gender-Affirming Healthcare for Trans Foster Youth

September 18, 2018. California Governor Jerry Brown signed landmark transgender rights legislation into law last week, guaranteeing the right of California’s foster youth to access gender-affirming healthcare services. Authored by California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria, AB 2119 is the first bill of its kind in the nation.

“Every young person in foster care deserves, and is entitled to, medically necessary health care. The harms caused by the denial or delay of medically necessary care are particularly acute for transgender and gender non-conforming children and youth, who often encounter barriers to receiving the care they need to ensure their health, safety, and well-being,” said Shannan Wilber, Youth Policy Director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights.


Share This
Supreme Court Rules on Title VII! Give now & Celebrate!