Research from #YouCanAdopt in 2020 found that over a quarter of people (26%) still didn’t know that lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT+) people can adopt. A surprising statistic considering 1 in 6 adoptions in England are actually with LGBT+ couples. This figure does not include single adopters, plus bisexual adopters can often be overlooked in recordings, so it is estimated that this figure is more likely to be 1 in 4.
Ten years ago, only 1 in 31 adoptions in England were with LGBT+ adopters and this year we celebrate the 10th LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week. To mark the significant strides made over the last decade we have put together just a few of the ways we support our LGBT+ adopters.
1. We are a member agency of New Family Social
We are an agency member of New Family Social (NFS) – the UK’s biggest network for LGBT+ adoptive and foster families – meaning our teams have access to training, advice, discussions, forums, professional services and more, to help us better support adopters from the LGBT+ community. Our membership also shows that we are an inclusive, experienced and welcoming agency and we are at the forefront of discussions and the recruitment of LGBT+ adopters.
2. Gold membership for you
As an agency member of New Family Social our prospective adopters and approved adopters are eligible to GOLD membership which includes:
- access to training
- peer support forums and events
- a community of 1,5000 Gold members
- advice and support for single adopters, couples and other relationship set ups
- access to a directory of LGBT+ friendly agencies – which includes us!
- articles and reading recommendations
- adoption podcast on various topics
- competitions and a summer camp!
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to request your Gold membership (NB: you must have started an enquiry with a member agency like Adopt Coast to Coast to be eligible).
3. A permanent voice
Whilst it’s incredibly important to celebrate and support national weeks such as LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week, we make sure that our LGBT+ adopters have a permanent voice year-round in all that we do. Whether that’s supporting our marketing activity, speaking at an information event, creating a case study video with us, or advising us in the background. We are honoured to have such support from a group of brilliant LGBT+ adopters and it helps us make sure that their voice is always heard.
4. We answer your questions
For anyone starting the adoption process, there are always a lot of questions, and LGBT+ people are no different. As well as the questions most adopters have, LGBT+ adopters often ask us about responding to questions from others about adoption, feedback from children who have been adopted by same sex couples, how birth family respond to same sex couple adoption and dealing with official questions from schools and doctors. Please rest assured if you have a question, it’s more than likely that we’ve heard it before – and if we haven’t, we’ll certainly help you to work it out!
We are on-hand to answer any questions you might have during the application process, in training, during matching and introductions and then on an on-going basis once a new family is formed.
5. You will be assessed in the same way
The adoption process is the same for LGBTQ+ people as it is for all other adopters. Our job is to find safe, loving homes for children in our care and we base our assessment on whether you as a person or couple would be a great parent for a child who isn’t able to live with their birth family.
Sexual orientation and gender identity bears no impact on this, and we want to get to you know you, why you want to adopt, and how you think you can provide a safe loving home for a child or children. All our adopters are supported throughout and treated with respect, honesty and integrity – we use our knowledge, skills and experience as social workers to support you. We’re a friendly bunch too.
6. We can arrange for you speak to other LGBT+ adopters
We are fortunate to work with lots of different adopters from all different backgrounds, race, family set up, relationship status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. If you think you would benefit from speaking to someone from a similar background to you then we can arrange a one-off discussion or set up several conversations with a mentor who will be happy to share their own experiences with you in confidence.
Find out more
If you want to find out more about adoption, rest assured we will be by your side to support you at each stage of the process – from making an initial enquiry, right through to once your new family is formed. Click here to complete an enquiry form.
Alternatively if you would like to find out more before submitting an enquiry our online information events or one-to-one appointments could be a perfect start – view upcoming dates here.