Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Questioning (LGBTQ) teens in the United States are three times more likely to live in foster care than their heterosexual counterparts, according to a newly released study.
The study, published in the medical journal Pediatrics, found that these teens are also three times as likely to have considered suicide.
According to a report from Reuters: “Roughly a third of teens living in foster care are LGBT(QI), the research found. Overall, 11 percent of the U.S. population is LGBT(QI), according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.”
The report, based on a study of 600,000 students ages 10 to 18 in California, also found these youth suffer from higher substance abuse issues, perform worse in school and experience poorer mental health.
According to the study, teens revealing their sexuality to their families can result in harassment as well as homelessness.
“We need to start examining whether LGBTQ youth are more likely to be removed from their families of origin, or whether they are more likely to get ‘stuck’ in the system by not getting permanent placements, or both,” Stephen Wilson, a public policy faculty member at UCLA School of Law and author of the report, told The Daily Texan.
Many LGBTQI adults who understand the specific trauma and issues of these youth often foster and adopt. However, there has been a fight across the country to prevent these parents from adopting.
Most recently President Donald Trump’s administration granted a request from the governor of South Carolina to allow federally funded child welfare agencies to deny parents services based on religious beliefs.
To learn more about the South Carolina adoption fight, click here.