Strong & happy LGBTQ+ adoptive & foster families
LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week 2023
'1, 2, 3, or more?'
LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week returns from 6 March. Over the next few days we’ll share inspiring stories from LGBTQ+ people who already parent or care for one, two, three or more looked-after children. If you're LGBTQ+ we'll help you understand the different considerations there are when looking at adopting or fostering one or more children.
Government statistics speak for themselves. The need for more LGBTQ+ people to consider adoption or fostering is as great as ever. There's a particular need for more applicants who'll consider parenting or caring for more than one child. The Children's Commissioner for England estimated - in the 2023 Siblings in Care report - that 4 in 10 (37 per cent) children with a sibling are separated from a sibling when placed in care. This follows BBC research in 2020 which estimated that more than half were separated in care. While some children may need to receive separate parenting or caring, we frequently hear from social workers that they struggle to find applicants open to sibling groups.
How many looked after children are there in the UK?
Wherever you live in the UK, if you're LGBTQ+ you can adopt or foster. The agencies supporting this campaign are keen to hear from LGBTQ+ potential applicants. If adopting or fostering appeals to you, this week we'll ask you '1, 2, 3, or more?'
Much has been done to encourage LGBTQ+ people to adopt or foster. When this campaign started 1 in 31 adoptions in England were to same-sex couples. Now it's 1 in 6. But the increasing figures show there's still much more to do.
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Agencies offering dedicated support for LGBTQ+ applicants
Current UK adoption statistics
Agencies that do offer free access to our dedicated support: Adopt Coast to Coast RAA / Adopt East RAA / Adopt London South RAA / Adopt South RAA / Adopt Thames Valley RAA / Adopters for Adoption / Adoption at Heart RAA/ Adoption Central England (ACE) RAA / Adoption Connects RAA / Adoption Counts RAA / Adoption Focus / Adoption in Merseyside RAA / Adoption Matters / Adoption Mid and West Wales / Adoption Now RAA / Adoption Partnership South East RAA / Adoption South East RAA / ARC Adoption North East / Barnardo's [Scotland Adoption Service] / Barnardo's [England] / Birmingham Children's Trust [Foster Birmingham] / Brighter Futures For Children / Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council [Adoption & Fostering] / Caritas Care / CCS Adoption / City of Edinburgh Council / Compass Fostering / Coram Ambitious for Adoption RAA / Diagrama / Family Adoption Links RAA / Family Futures / Fostering North London / London Borough of Havering [Fostering] / National Fostering Agency Scotland / National Fostering Group / North Wales Adoption Service / Northamptonshire Children's Trust Fostering/ One Adoption North & Humber RAA / One Adoption South Yorkshire RAA / One Adoption West Yorkshire RAA / PACT / Parallel Parents / Scottish Adoption / Southampton City Council [Fostering] / SSAFA The Armed Forces charity / St Andrew's Children's Society / Together for Adoption RAA / Vale, Valleys & Cardiff 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 Blackpool Council [Fostering Team] / Brighton & Hove City Council [Fostering] / Buckinghamshire Council Adoption Service / Calderdale Council [Fostering Team] / City of Edinburgh Adoption / City of York Council [Fostering] / Croydon Council Fostering / Derby City Council [Fostering] / Essex County Council [Fostering] / Family Fostering Ltd / Foster Now / Fostering Hampshire Children / Gateshead Council [Fostering] / Gloucestershire County Council [Fostering] / Hertfordshire County Council [Fostering] / Lancashire County Council [Fostering] / Leicester City Council [Fostering] / Leicestershire County Council [Fostering] / Lincolnshire County Council Fostering Service / London Borough of Hillingdon Fostering / London Borough of Sutton [Fostering] / London Borough of Waltham Forest [Fostering] / North Ayrshire Council [Adoption & Fostering] / Northumberland County Council [Fostering] / Nottingham City Council [Fostering] / Olive Branch, Bue Sky and Nexus and Calon Cymru in Wales [Fostering] / Oxfordshire County Council [Fostering] / Portsmouth City Council [Foster Portsmouth] / Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council Fostering / Royal Borough of Greenwich Council [Fostering] / Sandwell Children's Trust [Fostering] / Sheffield City Council [Fostering] / Shine Fostering / South Gloucestershire Council Fostering / Suffolk County Council [Fostering] / Surrey County Council Fostering / Thurrock Council [Fostering] / Together4Children RAA / Together for Children Sunderland [Fostering] / Trafford Council Fostering / Wigan Council [Fostering Team] /Young People At Heart [Fostering]
Introduction to LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering online session - Booking now open for Bronze members
Live online roundtable - adopting or fostering 1,2,3 or more children.
To take part, please join us as a Bronze member and look out for an email with details
Watched the information session film above? Once you're comfortable with the process in the 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.
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.