More same-sex couples than ever before in the UK are choosing to adopt children, data shows.

The news comes from new figures published this week by the Department for Education.

The stats chart a dramatic rise in same-sex adoptions across the past half-decade.

In England alone, same-sex couples accounted for 3.27% of all adoptions in 2011 – but accounted for 8.44% of all adoptions in England in 2015.

However, numbers reached a record high across Scotland and Wales as well.

There were 450 adoptions in England by same-sex couples in 2015. In Wales there were 30, and 17 in Scotland  – record rises in both countries.

In 2007, the first year with figures on record, just 90 children were adopted by same-sex couples across all of England, Scotland and Wales – compared to 497 this year.

The total number of adoptions has also risen drastically across the same time period, meaning the growth in same-sex couples has also outstripped the more general rise.

The stats mean that 1 in 12 adoptions is now to a same-sex couple.

Tor Docherty of adoption charity New Family Social told PinkNews: “It’s key in every adoption case that the needs of the child are paramount throughout.

“It’s fantastic that adoption agencies increasingly recognise the skills that LGBT people can bring as parents to meet those children’s needs.”