Newsom Signs Bill Requiring Foster Parents to Affirm LGBT Identities

Newsom Signs Bill Requiring Foster Parents to Affirm LGBT Identities

The California State Capitol building in Sacramento, Calif., on April 18, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

9/26/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

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California foster parents will now be required to “affirm” the chosen gender identity of the children in their care, due to a new bill signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom Sept. 23.
Mr. Newsom signed Senate Bill 407—introduced by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco)—which amends the foster care vetting process to ensure LGBT youth are only placed in homes where their gender identity and sexual orientation are affirmed by foster parents.
Under the bill, potential foster parents are required “to demonstrate the capacity to meet the needs of a child, regardless of the child’s sexual orientation or gender identity,” and will also be assessed for their ability “to care for and supervise children and youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities.”
Mr. Newsom touted the bill, along with several others concerning LGBT individuals he recently signed, saying that “California is proud to have some of the most robust laws in the nation when it comes to protecting and supporting our LGBT community.”
“These measures will help protect vulnerable youth, promote acceptance, and create more supportive environments in our schools and communities,” Mr. Newsom said in a statement the same day he approved the bill.
Tony Hoang, executive director of Equality California—a non-profit LGBT advocacy group that supported the bill—thanked legislators for taking a stand against those who opposed the bill, whom he called in the statement “far-right extremists.”
“We are thankful to our legislative partners for championing these important bills and to Governor Newsom for continuing to be such a strong ally in improving and protecting the wellbeing of the LGBT community as we face growing attacks from far-right extremists,” Hoang said in the same statement.
However, the bill received significant opposition from both sides of the political aisle.
Erin Friday—an attorney and self-described Democrat—testified against it during a Senate committee hearing in April.
Ms. Friday said the social gender transition of a child—such as changing their names, pronouns, and presentation—is a precursor to “a medical pathway that leads to the irreversible puberty blockers, sterilizing cross-sex hormones and mutilating surgeries,” which have been rejected in England, Finland, and Sweden for minors.
Erin Friday checks her notes on the steps of the California State Capital in Sacramento, Calif., on March 10, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Erin Friday checks her notes on the steps of the California State Capital in Sacramento, Calif., on March 10, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Greg Burt, representing the faith-based advocacy organization California Family Council and the conservative legal defense organization Pacific Justice Institute, also argued during the same hearing that religious people are also more likely to become foster parents due to their convictions, and that the bill would cause the state’s foster care system to lose more potential foster parents during a time when there is already a shortage of foster care homes.
“How many families of faith are you going to lose if this bill passes?” Mr. Burt said during the committee hearing. “A great majority of these people of faith hold traditional views on gender identity and human sexuality.”
There are 53,371 youth in foster care in California as of October 2022, with about 30 percent identifying as LGBT, according to Mr. Wiener’s office in a March press release.
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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

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Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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