Five facts about LGBT fostering and adoption
Same-sex couples and single LGBT+ adopters have had the legal right to adopt for 15 years, and the number of children adopted by same-sex parents is growing every year. Read our five facts about LGBT+ adoption.
1. It's definitely a thing
According to the Department for Education, one in eight adoptions in the UK in 2018 were by LGBT couples, to parents either in same-sex relationships, a civil partnership, or a same-sex marriage. As former Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson says, “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”.
2. It's more common than ever
The Adoption and Children Act of 2002 (which came into force in 2005) gave LGBT+ adopters the same legal rights as heterosexual or cisgender parents. Since then, the number of children adopted by lesbian, gay, bi or trans parents has grown year on year. Last year, one in four children adopted through Coram were placed with loving LGBT adoptive families.
3. Unexpected joy
Despite the law, some people still think being gay means you can’t be a parent. CoramBAAF research showed that while most heterosexual couples expected to become parents as a matter of course, this was less frequently the case for same-sex couples. This was particularly true of gay dads, many of whom thought their sexual identity was incompatible with parenthood – despite having always felt paternal.
4. The kids are all right
Fears that children adopted by same-sex couples would face bullying or that their own gender identities might be affected are largely unfounded. In fact, studies suggest that same-sex families are thriving – they score particularly well in assessments of family relationships, parental wellbeing and child adjustment.
5. Healthy family ties
Parent-child relationships are typically just as strong in same-sex couples as in heterosexual ones. Research published by CoramBAAF actually suggests that gay fathers show greater levels of interaction with their child than other types of parents.
Coram is a member of New Family Social, the national LGBT+ adoption and fostering charity, and we have been supporting lesbian, gay, bi and trans families through the adoption process for many years.
The CoramBAAF Bookshop has a range of books for parents and children, which focus on lesbian and gay fostering and adoption.