LGBTQ+ ADOPTION AND FOSTERING WEEK
Today marks the start of LGBTQ+ Adoption and Fostering week and this year’s theme is ‘Build Your Family’.
But how easy it is for LGBTQ+ foster parents to build a family? Is prejudice still causing a barrier in preventing parents from providing a safe and loving home for so many children in need of care?
In 2018, there were an estimated 1.2 million people identifying as LGBTQ+ in the U.K. however there are still many common misconceptions surrounding whether your gender or sexual orientation can affect your chances of fostering.
If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and you are wondering if you can become a foster carer then the answer is yes you can!
LGBTQ+ ADOPTION AND FOSTERING FACTS
- Equal By Law
In December 2005 UK laws were amended to give LGBT adopters and foster carers the same legal rights as cisgender or heterosexual parents*. Former Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson said at the time, “what matters in adoptive and foster parenting is not what type of people they are but their ability to open up their hearts and their homes to children in need”.
- Numbers Are Rising
Whilst fostering statistics are not routinely monitored by agencies in terms of LGBTQ+, the Department for Education reported that 490 adoptions during 2018/19 were by same sex couples. In 2020 at least 1 in 6 adoptions in 2020 were by same sex couples.
- Use Your Experience
Research has shown that LGBTQ+ parents feel well-equipped to help their children deal with issues of difference, tolerance, and acceptance. There is also no evidence to suggest that children experience any difficulties from their peers for having LGBTQ+ foster parents.
- You Can Foster As a Single Parent
You don’t have to be in a relationship to foster. Fostering is open to single people from gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. Your gender and sexual identity doesn’t alter to your ability to provide a child with a loving, safe and secure environment.
- Make A Difference
New Family Social, who runs LGBTQ+ Adoptions and Fostering week, estimates that if just 1% of the LGBTQ+ population were to adopt or foster, there would no longer be any children waiting for a new home.
At FosterTalk we believe that every child deserves a loving home which is why LGBTQ+ adoption and fostering week is so important. We want to promote and support the positive contributions that all foster carers can provide to children, regardless of gender, sexuality, religion and marital status.
If you identify as LGBTQ+ and are interested in building your family and pursuing a career as a foster career there are a number of organisations you can speak to:
2020 State of the System report by New Family Social.
Sexual orientation, National Office for statistics UK: 2018
*Laws came into force in Scotland in 2009 and The Republic of Ireland approved LGBT+ adoption in 2015.