Five facts about LGBT fostering and adoption
Same-sex couples 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
During the year ending 31 March 2017, there were 420 adoptions in England to parents either in same-sex relationships, a civil partnership, or a same-sex marriage. As former Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson said, “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. In fact, it's more common than ever
It’s now 13 years since the Adoption and Children Act gave LGBT adopters the same legal rights as heterosexuals. Since then, the number of children adopted by LGBT parents has grown year on year. In the year ending 31 March 2017, they accounted for 9.7% adoptions in England – up from 9.6% the previous year. Last year, at Coram we matched and placed 11 children with loving same-sex parents, that's three more than in 2016.
3. Unexpected joy
Despite the law, some people still think being gay means you can’t be parents. CoramBAAF research from 2013 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 and 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.
The CoramBAAF Bookshop has a range of books for parents and children, which focus on lesbian and gay fostering and adoption.