LESBIANS and gay men have been identified in a UK study as having:
The right mix of skills and experience to raise children who have been in care, and give them a great new start in life.
In recent surveys that were done at the behest of New Family Social there was a great amount of support and recognition for the strengths of LGBT couples, and this was highlighted when the country’s first ever National LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week was held last week to highlight powerful stories of adoption and foster families as well as the localities and organisations that are in the forefront of helping all children find homes that are loving.
According to this report, gay adopters and foster parents are being viewed in a different light, not only by those empowered to place the children, such as social workers and commissioners but also by the public who are beginning to see the reality of excluding loving homes, even those parented by gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender couples.
Seventy-two percent of social workers surveyed saw the “amount of energy and enthusiasm” LGBT adopters bring to the process as a significant strength, while 76 percent saw “openness to difference, and supporting a child with a sense of difference” as equally important.
For a long time, LGBT people tended to be seen as a “last resort” when placing children. Now adoption and fostering agencies see them as having a key role to play in meeting the urgent need for more new homes for children in care.
Considering itself as a campaign that is working to recruit LGBT couples that perhaps in the past have been denied or turned away or those who have recently become able to foster or adopt children, the LGBT AF Week is working hard with events that are making all sides of the issues facing displaced children.
Hugh Thornbery, Strategic Director of Children’s Services at Action for Children, said:
Over the years, our LGBT foster carers and adopters have helped to transform many children’s lives. We welcome more applications from LGBT foster carers and adopters; the main thing is that you are able to give children and young people the care and support they need to be happy and fulfilled.
Andy Leary-May, Director of New Family Social added:
More and more LGBT people are choosing adoption and fostering as a way to form a family, and we want prospective parents to see just how rewarding it can be, and how much advice and support is on offer from our huge community of families around the UK. The fact that so many agencies want to recruit from the LGBT community show just how far things have come in the past 5 or 6 years. Social workers are becoming more aware of our strengths, and we are being treated more fairly, and are being matched with children more quickly.