Queer Foster Care Archive

Below are some of the primary documents I relied on in my article, "The Untold Story of Queer Foster Families." Because the article doesn't come with citations, I wanted to provide some of my written sources for public access. 

This is only a small piece of those documents. If you're a researcher and are interested in accessing specific documents referenced in the story that aren't included below, please email me at mwaterswrites@gmail.com.

New Jersey 

Below are a sampling of documents relating to New Jersey foster care placements in the 1970s. 

Included is: 

  • A reaction from state representatives after the queer foster placements went public in a 1979 Trenton Times article. Several officials threatened to investigate these placements. 
  • An interview with Michael Weltmann, an openly gay social worker who orchestrated some of the queer foster care placements for the state. 
  • The policy document written by New Jersey’s Division of Youth and Family Services, in response to news of these foster care placements going public. The document was intended to outline New Jersey's history of queer foster placements for the legislature. This document was sent to me courtesy of Richard T. O'Grady, and to my knowledge is not published anywhere else. 

New York (National Gay Task Force)

The National Gay Task Force orchestrated the most placements of any organization I could find in the 1970s. It operated mainly in New York City, but also coordinated with officials in Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and other states. 

Included is: 

  • An update on the program from the group's newsletter, It's Time, in response to a May 1974 New York Times article outlining its work. 
  • A paper written by Michael Shernoff, who interviewed Tom Smith, the head of social services at the NGTF who orchestrated these placements. 


Included are three documents related to Youth Advocates, a state-supported social services organization that tried to find alternative foster care placements. 

Youth Advocates ended up registering over a dozen queer foster homes, according to the AP article below. 


Included below is: 

  • A speech given by David B. Sindt, an openly gay social worker who was responsible for multiple queer foster care placements in Chicago
  • An early ad, from February 1972, that Sindt placed in a gay newsletter in search of queer foster parents—the earliest call for queer foster parents that I could find in my research 
  • A newspaper report panicking over Sindt's queer foster care placements
  • A report in The Advocate reacting to the news


Including below is: 

  • The original foster care ad placed inThe Empty Closet, which Karen Hagberg responded to (see: "Foster Home Sought For Youth") 
  • An article Karen wrote in 1974 discussing her experiences with the foster care placements


Included below is: 

  • An ad seeking gay foster parents in Santa Clara ("Gay Foster Parents Needed")
  • A story in The Advocate about the state of adoption and foster care in California

  • Using Format