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.

Could today be the day you take your first step to build your family through adoption or fostering?

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

In a shameless tie in with the recent government census in England and Wales New Family Social asked its adopter and foster carer members to anonymously answer some questions about their sexual orientation, gender identity and more.

Our LGBT+ members are split across three membership levels, differentiated by identity verification. All live in the UK.

Among the key findings in the results is the low response rate from LGBT+ people in the North East of England. Representing just 1.8 per cent of responses from those in England this is low, even accounting for its lower population estimate compared to other English regions. Conversely, there is a marked over performance in terms of respondents from the South East of England. This region – separate to the 32 London boroughs – accounted for 24 per cent of respondents. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the regions where New Family Social has worked with local authorities more closely are better represented in respondent levels.

Another interesting finding is the disparity between the terminology sometimes used to describe LGBT+ people and their reported preferred terms. When asked how they identified their sexual orientation, 87.2 per cent reported they were gay or lesbian. Some 5.3 per cent identified as bi. However, queer – one of the more contentious terms for LGBT+ people – was only reported by 1.4 per cent of respondents as their identified sexual orientation. Given the term’s potential for offence among some LGBT+ people there’s a strong case for adoption and fostering agencies not to use it in their recruitment material.

When asked how they identified their gender identity 96 per cent reported that they identified as either male or female (68 and 28 per cent respectively). Respondents who identify with multiple gender identities account for 2 per cent of respondents and respondents who report they are non-binary account for 1 per cent. When asked if they’d changed how they identify their sexual orientation in the past three years, some 4.6 per cent of respondents reported this was the case.

Thanks to the hundreds of LGBT+ people who participated there’s a better understanding of who is going through the assessment process and who is currently parenting or providing foster care. New Family Social will revisit its census every two years, to identify trends among LGBT+ people who adopt and foster. The results will also be used to help inform adoption and fostering agencies on ways to better support LGBT+ applicants, adoptive parents and foster carers.

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

Looking to provide better services to LGBT+ applicants? Look no further

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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