Adoptions by same-sex couples in England rose by 17 per cent in 2022, new figures published by the Department of Education show. Analysis by New Family Social – the UK’s charity led by and for LGBTQ+ adopters, foster carers and kinship carers – reveals the rise.
The Government statistics say that 540 out of 2,950 adoptions in England in 2022 were to same-sex couples. The same figures show that in 2021, there were 460; which rose by 17.4 per cent to this year’s total of 540.
Same-sex couples adopting accounted for more than 1 in 6 of all adoptions in England in 2022. This is the greatest proportion on record. The news follows the tenth LGBTQ+ adoption & fostering week in March – when the campaign started just 1 in 31 adoptions in the country were to same-sex couples. The campaign focuses on encouraging LGBTQ+ people to explore adoption and fostering and is the only one of its kind in the UK.
Welcoming the news, Tor Docherty, Chief Executive of New Family Social said: ‘This is hugely reassuring – not just for LGBTQ+ people considering adoption but also for looked-after children. These children’s needs are paramount in every adoption decision and LGBTQ+ people are an invaluable pool of potential parents.’
How the figures are calculated, using Department for Education categories and data released 17 November:
| Adopter type
|| Adoptions in 2021 (2020/2021 reporting period)
||Adoptions in 2022 (2021/2022 reporting period)
| Total same sex couple not in civil partnership or married
| Civil partnership couple [Total of male/male and female/female couples]
| Married couple - both male
| Married couple - both female
| Total number of adoptions in reporting period
| Same-sex couples adopting as part of total adoptions
||15.9 per cent / 1 in 6
||18.3 per cent / 1 in 5.5
Restrictions of data: As the data presented by the Department for Education relates to adoptive family composition – rather than recorded sexual orientation or gender identity data – it excludes
- Single LGBTQ+ adopters
- Bi people in different gender relationships
- Trans people in different gender relationships
The full data release is available online