Strong & happy LGBT+ adoptive & foster families

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Frequently Asked Qs

Some quick answers 

Starting to consider adopting or fostering? Then read a little bit about the requirements.

Read the summary & recommendations of our members' survey on the adoption & fostering approval process & support.

Man puzzling over query

1 in 6 adoptions in England in 2020 were to same-sex couples. But LGBT+ applicants still have an expectation of discrimination. 

News - from NFS & our agency friends

A word from...... James Lawrence, Head of Communications & Engagement

The festive season rumbles ever closer and many of us are supervising the writing of lists, while trying to manage a child’s expectations. But what is it we want, what we really want for 2021? Looking at the results of State of the System – our research with LGBT+ adopters and foster carers – can help us to write a list of our own. So here we are, just three simple things, all high value to making the lives of looked-after children better.

  • Better post adoption support for our children. There’s some great practice across the UK – but it isn’t consistent. An adoptive parent in one county may find their calls returned on the same day. Another five miles away an adoptive parent may wait three weeks for a response. If your family’s exhausted and in need of support you want it as soon as possible.

  • Improved co-ordination between adoption support and the NHS. In England, post-adoption support teams now access the Adoption Support Fund (ASF) to circumvent the wait for assessment by children’s mental health services. The waiting list for children’s mental health services and the need for a speedy intervention are incomplatible. One New Family Social member waited for two years for an initial meeting with their local children’s mental health team. Our member - with their post-adoption support team - secured funding from the ASF for a private consultant's assessment. But that diagnosis was then rejected by their local children’s mental health team. After a heated debate between post adoption support and the NHS, the children’s mental health services team now accepts the assessment. Sadly, this story isn’t unusual. It highlights the damaging disconnect between the two support services. This situation isn't in the best interests of children who need support.

  • Greater understanding from agencies that meeting the needs of LGBT+ people goes beyond a recruitment session or a leaflet. It’s fantastic that across the UK more LGBT+ people now adopt or foster. Less fantastic? 1 in 3 LGBT+ people currently at the family-finding stage say their sexual orientation is a barrier in the process. Adoption and fostering agencies now work with more LGBT+ people. But it’s clear that the expertise of recruitment social workers isn’t always shared across an agency. Panel members, family-finding social workers and children's social workers are all potential blindspots. Agencies risk their reputations if anti-LGBT+ practice remains unchallenged. LGBT+ potential applicants will vote with their feet if their friends have negative experiences.

We’ve been good this year Santa – any chance we can have all three for 2021?

1 in 6

adoptions in England in 2020 were to same-sex  couples

3 in 4

 New Family Social adopters consider adopting siblings


The total number of children in foster care in England

Adoption and foster carer assessment and support services rely on face-to-face contact

Smiling Social Worker

Some 60 foster agencies joined NFS in 2019. Find out why we're working together.

Rainbow painted Road

Increasing numbers of agencies turn to LGBT+ applicants. What are your options?

Girl on bench with question Mark - What is the support like in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Support from LGBT+ friendly agencies is rising across every UK country. 

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