One in eight adoptions in England are now to same-sex couples, according to stats released this week.

The LGBT statistics released on Thursday by the Department for Education shows that the proportion of children being adopted by same-sex couples in England is the highest since records began.



“LGBT+ people are more likely to consider adopting children that can be seen as ‘harder to place’—because of factors such as their age or if they have special needs.”

— Tor Docherty, New Family Social

3,820 children were adopted in England in 2018.

Of those, 450 were adopted by same-sex couples, amounting to 12 percent of children, or one in eight.

A graphic explains that one in every eight adoptions in England is to a same-sex couple
New statistics show that one in every eight adoptions in England is to a same-sex couple.

The total number of children adopted has fallen has fallen by nearly 30 percent since 2015, declining from 5,360 to 3.820.

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However, the number of same-sex adoptions has remained stable at around 450 per year.

Same-sex adoptions are more common, stats show

Tor Docherty of New Family Social told PinkNews: “LGBT+ people can bring fantastic parenting skills to their adopted children. We’re thrilled to see agencies consistently recognising that LGBT+ people pay a key role in helping transform the lives of our most vulnerable children.”

A stat table graph shows LGBT statistics that same-sex adoptions have remained stable, as total adoptions declined
Same-sex adoptions have remained stable, as total adoptions declined

New Family Social, a peer support charity for LGBT+ adopters and foster carers, added: “We know from snapshot research that LGBT+ people are more likely to consider adopting children that can be seen as ‘harder to place’ – because of factors such as their age or if they have special needs – which can make it easier for social services to match vulnerable children with potential parents.”

“LGBT+ people can bring fantastic parenting skills to their adopted children.”

— Tor Docherty, New Family Social

“A decade ago, just 80 adoptions in England were to same-sex couples. Now, we’re seeing over 400 adoptions a year for consecutive years, which is a mark of how far we’ve come.

“There’s still work to do – and every instance of discrimination needs to be stamped on – to make sure that LGBT+ people can go through the process with confidence, no matter where they are in the country.”

Same-sex adoptions can still face challenges

Although adoptions by same-sex couples still provoke negative reactions from many, the group added that there are now a growing number of children being raised by two same-sex parents.

A man holds his son at the Pride parade in San Francisco, California.
Statistics are showing that more same-sex couples are adopting in England. (David Paul Morris/Getty)

Docherty continued: “Critics of LGBT+ people adopting have become no less vociferous or consistent over the years – it was only last month a councillor was ordered to step down from a Police and Crime panel after questioning whether LGBT+ people should be allowed to foster children.

“While these negative attitudes still persist in some quarters, over three thousand children and young people in England now live with their LGBT+ adoptive parents – proving that we can and do parent successfully.”




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