More than a third of LGBT people believe their sexuality is a barrier when considering adoption or foresting, a new study has revealed.

Research by Action for Children and New Family Social shows one in three (36%) believe sexuality is a barrier, with the figure rising to one in two (53%) in Scotland.

The study, of around 400 LGBT people, also reveals that one in four (25%) were told that they should not be a parent – often by their own family.

The findings mark the launch of New Family Social’s LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week (3-9 March).

Events will be taking place across the country, with details of local events available at the LGBT Fostering and Adoption Week website.

Jacob Tas, interim chief executive of Action for Children, said: “Being a good parent has nothing to do with being gay or straight. Right now there are more than 6,000 children waiting to be adopted and an urgent need to find 8,600 foster families. We run fostering and adoption services and help children achieve their dreams of having families.”

Tor Docherty, director of New Family Social added: “If just one per cent of the LGBT community adopt or foster, this could plug the gap and ensure every child in the country has a loving home.”

Stig and Phill Williams, a same-sex couple in north London, spoke to Action for Children on how becoming adoptive parents to three children was a challenging but ultimately rewarding journey.

Stig said: “You need to have a very strong relationship with your partner and know that you will stay with each other forever. The children have been through so much and will often try and test you. But as long as you and your partner speak to each and know how to handle these situations the benefits are endless.”