Five facts about LGBT fostering and adoption

Same-sex couples and single LGBT+ adopters have had the legal right to adopt since 2005, 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, 1 in 7 adoptions in England in 2018-19 were by LGBT adopters. 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 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, more than one in five 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. 

Useful links

Read Ben and Adam's adoption story 

Find out why adopters choose Coram

The CoramBAAF Bookshop has a range of books for parents and children, which focus on lesbian and gay fostering and adoption. 

Books supporting LGBT adopters & foster carers