Bet Tzedek provides legal assistance to children and families who need help securing legal U.S. residency, obtaining legal guardianship, securing gender affirming identification documents, or accessing public benefits and resources. We support children with diverse experiences, including those who are unaccompanied and seeking refuge in the United States, those raised by family relatives other than their own parents, and those who identify as transgender and gender non-conforming. We also support guardians seeking legal protection for these children.
When parents aren’t able to care for their children, family members oftentimes step in to serve as caregivers. Bet Tzedek supports these caregivers by helping them secure legal guardianship of these children, and in the process ensuring the children’s physical and emotional well-being. We also support adults caring for children by helping them access benefits and navigate processes that ensure their family’s well-being, including adoption, foster care benefits, and educational benefits.
Bet Tzedek connects undocumented children with legal guardians to ensure their wellbeing and prevent them from falling into the foster care system. We also help obtain Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, asylum, or other forms of relief for undocumented children so they can remain safely in the U.S. As a national leader in this effort, we train pro bono volunteers in special proceedings and advise legislators on changes to improve immigration policies.
Since 2016, Bet Tzedek has worked with organizations, such as the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles, to ensure transgender youth have access to medical care and coverage, live free from discrimination at school, and receive accurate gender identity recognition under the law.
guardianship cases managed by Bet Tzedek in 2021
petitions filed on behalf of immigrant children in 2021
“Without Bet Tzedek, I don't think I will be where I'm at right now. I would have not gone to college. I would not have all the opportunities that I have now to find jobs, to have a driver's license, to just be in the U.S. Now I can see my future in a different way.”
Osmin, 20 yrs old (Arrived alone to the US at 14)