Figures show the number of same-sex couples adopting children in England has doubled in the past four years.

According to the Department for Education, the number of same-sex couples adopting rose from 3% in 2009 to 6% in 2013.

But campaigners say many more adoptive parents are needed for the thousands of children waiting to be placed who are currently in care.

“Adoption offers LGBT people an excellent way to create a family and recent government reforms mean that it is now much quicker and easier to adopt than before – the approval process takes just six months,” said Gemma Gordon-Johnson, head of service at First4Adoption. “However, we still need more LGBT people to come forward to find out more about adopting one of the many thousands of boys and girls still waiting for a loving family.”

She added: “We know that 1 in 7 (or 4 million) people in England would consider adopting, so we urge LGBT people not to be put off by myths about who can adopt – you can adopt if you are LGBT, single or over 40 – and to get in touch with us.”

Separate research released today shows more than a third of LGBT people believe their sexuality is a barrier when considering adoption or fostering.

One in four surveyed were told that they should not be a parent – often by their own family.

As part of LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, which is taking place until Sunday, campaigners are spreading the message that LGBT people should feel adoption and fostering can be something for them.

For LGBT people who are interested in finding out more about adopting, First4Adoption is undertaking a web chat with Stonewall at 6-7pm tonight.

More information about the web chat can be found here