PHOTOS: Faces of LGBT Youth Seeking 'Forever Families'

For the first time, the celebrated Heart Gallery NYC highlighted photos of LGBT youth in the foster care system.



The statistics on LGBT youth show how necessary projects like "Forever Families" are. In an April memorandum published by New York City's Administration for Children's Services, Commissioner Gladys Carrion noted that 26 percent of youth who come out as LGBT are forced to leave their homes.

Once such youth find their way into the foster care system, the need for a safe, loving, stable environment becomes especially critical. Carrion points out that 78 percent of LGBT youth face bias or harassment in their foster care placements because of their sexuality or gender identity.

These trends are not just local to New York City. A 2010 report published by the Center for American Progress found that homeless LGBT youth — who, on average, are forced from their homes between ages 13 and 14 —  are overrepresented among the overall homeless youth LGBT population, accounting for 20 to 40 percent of the group (as compared to 5 to 10 percent of the non-homeless population). Issues unique to LGBT youth, including rejection by family and harassment at school, contributed to the inflated numbers.

Below are just a fraction of New York City's LGBT youth who need forever families. Prospective parents who want more information about the adoption process can find it on Heart Gallery NYC's website.