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LGBTQ+ adoptions in Scotland slide [26 July, 2023]

26 Jul 2023 08:45 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
Newly published data from the Scottish government shows that in 2022 only 1 in 12 adoptions in the country were to same-sex couples, a fall from 1 in 11 in 2021. The drop in Scotland means the country last year saw the lowest proportion of adoptions to LGBTQ+ people out of all the British nations.

Analysis of the latest figures by New Family Social shows that in Wales in the same year 1 in 4 adoptions were to same-sex couples. In England it stood at 1 in 6. While adoptions to same-sex couples in Scotland fell in 2022, both Wales and England saw increases in their figures.

‘This fall is truly troubling for LGBTQ+ Scots who hope to adopt,’ says James Lawrence, Head of Communications & Engagement at New Family Social. ‘In recent years Scotland’s adoption services have never matched the same proportions of LGBTQ+ people adopting as those in Wales and England. These new figures now show a worrying slide in both the proportion and also the actual numbers of adoptions to same-sex couples in Scotland.

‘We do know of isolated examples of good practice from individual agencies in Scotland – such as Scottish Adoption, St Andrew’s Children’s Society and Barnardo’s. In Wales and England there’s clear national strategies – and results – for recruiting and supporting LGBTQ+ adopters.

‘In Wales for example, all LGBTQ+ adoption applicants can access dedicated support through their assessment, matching and parenting – no matter which local authority they go on their journey with – thanks to our partnership with Wales’ National Adoption Service. Similarly all the adoption collaboratives in Wales – which represent all the local authority adoption services in the country – participated in the UK’s LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week this year.’

‘In every adoption case the needs of the child must be paramount. Poor engagement with LGBTQ+ people restricts the pool of potential adoptive parents, which isn’t in the best interests of vulnerable children. There’s clear evidence across Britain that it’s possible for a country to routinely see 1 in 6 adoptions be to same-sex couples, where there’s a strategic approach at a national level in efforts to broaden engagement and recruitment.’

LGBTQ+ adoption in Scotland

 Year  All adoptions Total same-gender adoptions in year % of total   1 in x Rounded 1 in x 
 2022   370  32  8.648648649  11.5625  12
 2021  480  44  9.166666667  10.90909091  11 

Source: National Records Scotland

Limitations of data: No country in the UK fully records LGBTQ+ adoption. The statistics reported by government focus on the composition of the adoptive family by gender - so whether the parents are two men, two women, one man and a woman, etc. rather than the sexual orientation or gender identity of the adopters. This means single LGBTQ+ people, bi people in a different gender relationship and trans people in a different gender relationship are invisible in the figures.

LGBTQ+ in the UK & considering adoption or fostering? Join New Family Social for free as a Bronze member. You can then access our online tools to find information sessions and details of local agencies keen to hear from you as a potential applicant.

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