Charities are ready to come together for LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week 2015.
This year’s events will celebrate the fact that the number of children adopted by LGBT couples has tripled since a chance in law in 2005.
Carers from across England, Scotland and Wales are celebrating the tenth anniversary since the implementation of the Adoption and Children Act which gave LGBT couples the same legal rights as straight adopters.
This year New Family Social – the charity which supports adopters and foster carers from LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) communities – has joined forces with children’s charity Barnardo’s to mark LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week.
Despite large steps forward, this year’s campaign will highlight there is still a need for more carers to come forward and adopt or foster children, in particular sibling groups who often wait the longest to find new forever families.
Since the change in law a total of 1,313 children have been adopted by LGBT couples in England, Wales and Scotland. The number of children adopted by same sex couples has more than tripled from 90 in 2007, the first year figures were collated, to 370 in 2014. (Government statistics compiled by New Family Social are available by clicking this link3)
Chief Executive at New Family Social Tor Docherty said: “We’re delighted that same-sex couples have been able to adopt for a decade. Adoption and fostering agencies recognise the strengths we have as parents and we’re pleased to see the increase in the number of LGBT adoptive families.
“We want LGBT people thinking about adoption or fostering to take the first step today because children are waiting for great families who will love them for who they are.
“This is the fourth year we have run LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week and it has grown year on year. This year we have more than 60 adoption agencies taking part in events across the UK, showing how much of a recruitment focus there is now on the LGBT community.
“Our charity was set up in 2007 by and for LGBT adopters and foster carers and we are very proud of the support our 1,900 members give each other which in turn gives children the confidence of knowing other families like theirs.”
Javed Khan, Chief Executive at Barnardo’s, said: “Barnardo’s has always encouraged and supported adopters and foster carers from LGBT communities, long before the legal changes were introduced.
“As the UK’s largest adoption agency in the voluntary sector, we are delighted to support this year’s campaign.
“I’m proud to say that of the 123 children we placed for adoption in the year up to December 2014, 16 are placed with LGBT adopters – a rate of 13% – which is more than twice the national average.
“We specialise in finding adopters for older children, children in sibling groups and children with additional or uncertain needs. We are very proud of the contribution our adopters and carers from the LGBT community make towards the work of Barnardo’s in turning around the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in the UK.”
LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week will start with a flagship event in Manchester on Monday 2 March at 6.30pm where potential adopters can get vital information about the adoption process. Around 60 events will be taking place around the country during the week, culminating in an event in London on 6 March.
The figures for 2014 reveal that 6.7% of all adoptions in England, 5.8% of all adoptions in Wales and 2.9% of all adoptions in Scotland were by same sex couples.
Full details about events taking place can be found at www.lgbtadoptfosterweek.org.uk
Follow the campaign on Twitter #LGBT2015 and more information about adopting with Barnardo’s is available here.
PinkNews is a media partner of LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week.