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LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week 2024

'Different Together'

LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week returns from 4 March. Over the next few days we’ll share inspiring stories from LGBTQ+ people who already parent or care for looked-after children from minoritised ethnic groups. If you're LGBTQ+ - particularly if you're from the global majority - we'll help you understand the different considerations there are when considering adopting or fostering a child who may not share your heritage.

Government statistics speak for themselves. The need for more LGBTQ+ people to consider adoption or fostering is as great as ever. For looked-after children - who are among the most vulnerable people in the UK - LGBTQ+ people can offer a unique understanding into navigating identity. In an ideal world, agencies would find every looked-after child a placement with adoptive parents or foster carers who closely match the child's culture and heritage. Where this can’t happen, agencies should work hard to help LGBTQ+ applicants to understand how to meet their child’s culture and heritage needs.

Too many LGBTQ+ people still count themselves out as potential adoption and fostering applicants. LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week aims to persuade them to rule themselves in. When this campaign started 1 in 31 adoptions in England were to same-sex couples. Now it's 1 in 5. While much has been done, there's still much to do.

How many looked after children are there in the UK?

In England in 2023 there were 83,840 looked-after children.

In Scotland in 2022 there were 12,596 looked-after children.

In Wales in 2022 there were 7,080 looked-after children.

In Northern Ireland in 2023 there were 3,801 looked-after children.

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Read the media release  

Want to talk to us about the campaign? Drop us a line

Agencies supporting the campaign

Current UK statistics

Which agencies support LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week 2024? 

Read the full list of supporting agencies

Agencies supporting the campaign that offer free access to our dedicated support for LGBTQ+ applicants: Action for Children Scotland Fostering, Adopt Birmingham RAA, Adopt Coast to Coast RAA, Adopt East RAA, Adopt London East RAA, Adopt London North RAA, Adopt London South RAA, Adopt London West RAA, Adopt North East RAA, Adopt South RAA, Adopt South West RAA, Adopt Thames Valley RAA, Adopters for Adoption, Adoption at Heart RAA, Adoption Connects RAA, Adoption Central England RAA (ACE), Adoption Connects RAA, Adoption Counts RAA, Adoption East Midlands RAA, Adoption Focus, Adoption Lancashire & Blackpool RAA, Adoption Matters, Adoption Mid & West Wales, Adoption NoW RAA, Adoption Partnership South East RAA, Adoption South East RAA, Adoption Tees Valley RAA, Adoption West RAA, Amicus Foster Care, Arc Adoption North East, Barnardo's, Barnardo's [North East], Barnardo's Cymru, Barnardo's Fostering and Adoption [London & South East], Barnardo's Scotland, Bath & North East Somerset Council [Fostering Service], Birmingham Children's Trust, Brighter Futures For Children, Buckinghamshire County Council, Bury Council [Fostering Service], Calderdale Council [Fostering Service], Cambridgeshire County Council [Fostering Service], Caritas Care CCS Adoption, Compass Fostering, Coram Ambitious for Adoption RAA, Diagrama, Family Adoption Links RAA, Foster Wales Powys, Foster Wales, Foster with Coventry [Coventry City Council Fostering Service], Fostering North London, Fostering Solutions North West, Gateshead Council [Fostering Service], Gloucestershire County Council [Fostering], Leicester City Council [Fostering Service], Leicestershire County Council, Lincolnshire County Council [Fostering Service], London Borough of Camden, London Borough of Hillingdon [Fostering Service], London Borough of Hounslow [Fostering Service], London Borough of Waltham Forest [Fostering Team], Manchester City Council [Fostering], NFA East, National Fostering Agency, Nexus Fostering, North Wales Adoption Service, Northumberland County Council [Fostering], Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council [Fostering Service], One Adoption North & Humber RAA, One Adoption South Yorkshire RAA, One Adoption West Yorkshire RAA, PACT (Parents and Children Together), Safehouses Fostering, Scottish Adoption, South East Wales Adoption Service [SEWAS], South Gloucestershire Council, St Andrew's Children's Society, Staffordshire County Council, Sunderland City Council [Fostering Service], TACT Fostering, The Foster Care Charity, The Foster Care Co-operative, Together for Adoption RAA, Together4Children RAA, Together Trust, Trafford Council [Fostering Service], Vale, Valleys & Cardiff Regional Adoption Collaborative, Western Bay Adoption Service, Yorkshire Adoption Agency

The following agencies all also support the campaign, but may not offer free access to our dedicated support: AFA Fostering, Bedford Borough Council [Fostering Service], Bracknell Forest Council [Fostering Service], The Children's Family Trust, City of York Council [Fostering], Cumbria Fostering & Adoption, Derby City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Fair Ways Fostering, Family Fostering, Foster for Cheshire East [Cheshire East Council Fostering Service], Foster Portsmouth, Foster with North East, Inverclyde HSCP, Lancashire County Council [Fostering Service], London Borough of Croydon [Fostering Service], London Borough of Harrow [Fostering service], London Borough of Sutton [Fostering Service], New Routes Fostering, North Ayrshire Council, Nexus Fostering, Park Foster Care, Renfrewshire Council, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council [Fostering Service], Sheffield City Council [Fostering Service], Southampton City Council [Fostering service], St Christopher's, Suffolk County Council [Fostering service], To The Moon and Back Fostering, West Sussex County Council [Fostering service]

Monday 4 March


'I’m an LGBTQ+, adopted, dual heritage, adoptive parent who fostered' -  Joseph's a dual heritage gay man who was adopted as a baby by white parents. As an adult, with his white partner, he fostered and then adopted a dual heritage child. Joseph talks about his experiences as an adoptee and a foster carer and adopter.

Listen on

Apple Podcasts   Podbean

'How out do we have to be? – What does 'out' look like in different cultures?' - Joe and his husband are adopting. His husband is Muslim and the couple are navigating how out they need to be to his wider extended family – and how out they need to be to proceed in the assessment process.

Listen on

Apple Podcasts   Podbean

'Adopting siblings alone is a privilege' – Robert is a lone parent of siblings, aged five and seven, who he adopted. He talks about the enormous benefits of adopting his children at the same time as well as the practicalities of working full time when you have two kids. He also talks about raising children who don't share his ethnic background.

Listen on 

Apple Podcasts    Podbean

Live event

Preparing for transracial adoption & fostering - This online seminar is for LGBTQ+ people in the UK considering transracial adoption or fostering. 

Tuesday 5 March

Supporting podcasts

Adopting after personal trauma – Amber escaped a forced marriage and rebuilt her life. She decided to adopt when she was 40 and talks about how adopting complements her spiritual beliefs.

Apple podcasts   Podbean


Foster carers from Muslim backgrounds - Nowal and Sarah foster a teenager. They talk about the assessment process, family support and knowing your limits!

Apple Podcasts   Podbean

Raising three bilingual daughters - Avi and Danny adopted three girls one at a time. They speak Hebrew at home. They talk about building their support network and their eldest daughter's emerging needs.

Apple Podcasts     Podbean

Wednesday 6 March

Live event

Introduction to LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering online session - This online session is for LGBTQ+ people in the UK who want to know more about either route to forming your family. It'll showcase stories from minoritised ethnic groups. 

Apply to attend 

Supporting podcasts

'I’m a black, gay, single adopter' – Leon talks about becoming a dad and being a role model for others. 

Apple Podcasts  Podbean

Panels: Behind the scenes – Ruby  - one of our LGBTQ+ members from a minoritised ethnic group - sits on adoption and fostering panels. Here she shares her advice on what to expect and how you can join a panel.

Apple Podcasts  Podbean

We were both adopted and now we’re adopting siblings - Ash and John were both adopted as children and the couple are now adopting siblings. Ash shares how - in the culture he was raised - adoption wasn’t spoken about, but his extended family all knew that he and his sister were adopted. 

Apple Podcasts  Podbean

Thursday 9 March

Live event

Supporting LGBTQ+ transracial adoption/ fostering applicants - This free online seminar is for adoption and fostering sector professionals working in the UK. Children from black and minoritised ethnic backgrounds can wait longer for adoption and fostering placements. Social workers, family-finders and children’s social workers often consider placing a child with adopters/foster carers who don’t share the child’s ethnic background.

Free to attend, this 90 minute webinar will help you to assess whether a placement can meet the child’s cultural needs. It’ll also help you to develop your understanding of how to support adopters/foster carers to develop their cultural sensitivity. 

When: 12:00 - 13:30


'Tenacious little monsters!' – Arjay and Tom adopted two year old twin girls 12 weeks ago. 

Apple podcasts   Podbean

'Parenting traumatised siblings' – Psychotherapist Nino talks about parenting his three traumatised children.

Apple podcasts  Podbean

Friday 10 March

Supporting Films

For LGBTQ+ people: What to consider if you're LGBTQ+ & thinking about transracial adoption

Watch on Youtube

For adoption/fostering professionals: How to support LGBTQ+ transracial adoption/fostering applicants:

Watch on Youtube

Additional Resources

Find the agency that fits you

If you've researched the assessment processes - through reading online or attending information giving webinars, such as those run by New Family Social -  the next stage is to identify the right agency for you. It may be one that you've attended an information session for already. It may be one that your friends or contacts used. At New Family Social we strongly recommend talking to a number of agencies - not every agency will be right for you. There are different strengths to all agencies, whether they are run by local authorities, the voluntary sector or the private sector.

Our agency finder can help you identify those that offer dedicated support to LGBTQ+ adopters and foster carers through their membership of New Family Social. To access the finder sign up for a free New Family Social Bronze membership. Then, once you've done that, log in and select 'My NFS' and then 'Friendly agencies'.

When you're exploring agencies it can be helpful to ask questions such as 'how many LGBTQ+ people are you currently assessing?', 'What experience does your team have in supporting LGBT+ people?' and so on. Agency staff should be able to answer these questions. 

what does the application process involve?

The assessment processes for adoption and fostering are similar but have distinct differences. The systems are robust, to make sure vulnerable children are placed with people who can provide them with the parenting and support they need. For LGBTQ+ people the assessment process can feel intrusive.

While coming out is an ongoing process for all LGBTQ+ people, the level and frequency of disclosures the process requires can seem invasive. For this reason it's key that you have a strong relationship with your assessing social worker, who usually acts as your advocate at the approval panels. This is one of the reasons New Family Social strongly recommends that you attend information sessions by more than one agency when you start out, so you find the best fit for you.

Find out more about the assessment process for adoption

Find out more about the assessment process for fostering

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