Any woman or woman-identified person with love in her heart to raise, protect and nurture another living being deserves to be called mother.
By Cy White, Illustrations by Jessica Wetterer
In 2020, Natalie Sanders (a.k.a. Mother Girl6) opened the doors of the House of Lepore to Austin’s queer Black, Brown, Indigenous and Latinx community. She acts as the House Mother, the first in Central Texas, providing a home and family to those who were shunned by their biological families. In the tradition of all house mothers, she nurtures the growth and creativity of her children, offering them unshakeable love, discipline and respect for who they are. She takes it a step further as a mental health counselor, health prevention specialist and a vocal activist for Black Trans Lives.
According to the Children’s Bureau (an Office of the Administration for Children & Families in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services), by the end of the 2021 fiscal year, 54,240 children were adopted with public agency involvement. This is a 6% decrease from 2020.
In 2022, the U.S. Census Bureau recorded 8,657 single-mother households with children under 18 years old.
Austin Pets Alive! recorded 9,663 adoptions in 2021. The organization was founded in 1997, and has reportedly saved over 100,00 animal lives since 2008.
In 2013, Cortney Jones founded Change 1 Youth Services to provide resources for youth in the foster care system. The organization provides youth development and leadership resources, child welfare restorative practices, training and consultation, and the organization works from within the legal system to support and propose legislation that will benefit the protection and care of children in the foster system. With a master’s degree in social work, Jones is the executive director and a child welfare advocate. She herself is a product of the foster care system, and is a proud adoptive mother of two.