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Information about Adoption & Fostering & Our Services

  • 19 Mar 2020 12:32 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Read about some of the research ...

    Modern Families: Parents and Children in New Family Forms (2015)

    This brought together research on parenting and child development in new family forms – including lesbian mother families, gay father families, families headed by single mothers by choice, and families created through assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), egg, sperm or embryo donation, and surrogacy.

    The findings contest popular myths and assumptions about the social and psychological consequences for children of being raised in new family forms and also challenge existing theories of child development that are founded upon the privilege and supremacy of the traditional family. The author – Susan Golombok – argues that the quality of family relationships and the wider social environment are more influential in children’s psychological development than are the number, gender, sexual orientation, or biological relatedness of their parents or the method of their conception.

    Find out more about Modern Families.

    Gay, Lesbian and Heterosexual Adoptive Families: Family Relationships, Child Adjustment and Adopters’ Experiences (Baaf) (2013)

    This research into adoptive families headed by same-sex couples paints a positive picture of relationships and wellbeing in these new families. The study, which was carried out by Cambridge University, suggests that adoptive families with gay fathers might be faring particularly well.

    “Overall we found markedly more similarities than differences in experiences between family types”. Professor Susan Golombok

    In-depth research into the experiences of adoptive families headed by same-sex couples suggests that children adopted by gay or lesbian couples are just as likely to thrive as those adopted by heterosexual couples. It also reveals that new families cope just as well as traditional families with the big challenges that come with taking on children who have had a poor start in life.

    Read more about the report on the University of Cambridge website.

    The report is also available to buy from all Amazon and all good retailers.

    Tasker, F. (2007) Reviewing Lesbian and Gay Adoption and Foster Care: the Developmental Outcomes for Children, Family Law 37: 524.

    Abstract: Looks at the research on lesbian and gay parenting. Considers lesbians and gay men as adoptive parents and foster carers. Concludes the Adoption and Children Act 2002 and SI 2007/1263 make it clear that, as a matter of social policy, in all issues relating to adoption and fostering same-sex couples are to be treated equally with heterosexual couples.

    Tasker, F. (2005) Lesbian Mothers, Gay Father and their children: A Review, Journal of Developmental and Behavioural Pediatrics 26: 224-40.

    Abstract: There is a variety of families headed by a lesbian or gay male parent or same-sex couple. Findings from research suggest that children with lesbian or gay parents are comparable with children with heterosexual parents on key psychosocial developmental outcomes. In many ways, children of lesbian or gay parents have similar experiences of family life compared with children in heterosexual families. Some special considerations apply to the context of lesbian and gay parenting: variation in family forms, children’s awareness of lesbian and gay relationships, heterosexism, and homophobia. These issues have important implications for managing clinical work with children of lesbian mothers or gay fathers.

    Hicks, S. (2005). Is Gay Parenting Bad for Kids? Responding to the ‘Very Idea of Difference’ in Research on Lesbian and Gay Parents. Sexualities 8(2): 153-168.

    Abstract: This article examines the claim that children of lesbians and gay men are different to those of heterosexuals, particularly in their gender and sexual identity. The author considers two examples, a UK Christian discourse opposed to all forms of lesbian and gay parenting and a US liberal equality approach, represented by the work of Stacey and Biblarz (2001). Both, the author argues, treat difference as a thing acquired by children. This article examines and disputes the ways in which this idea of difference is achieved, and proposes that treating gender and sexuality as measurable outcomes is highly problematic. The author argues for research that asks how contemporary discourses of sexuality actually maintain the very idea that lesbian and gay families are different.

    Murray, C. (2004) Same-Sex Families: Outcomes For Children And Parents, Family Law 34: 136-139.

    Abstract: A brief overview of the existing research mainly for a legal audience.

    Clarke, V., Kitzinger, C. and Potter, J. (2004) ‘Kids are just cruel anyway’: Lesbian and gay parents’ talk about homophobic bullying, British Journal of Social Psychology 43(4): 531-550(20).

    Abstract: Psychologists recognize homophobic bullying as a serious problem for young lesbians and gay men; however, when it comes to children in lesbian and gay households the issue is not so clear cut. Some psychologists sympathetic to lesbian and gay parenting regard it as a problem, but most do not. Despite this, the inevitability and severe psychological consequences of homophobic bullying is a prevalent theme in discussions of lesbian and gay parenting in contexts ranging from custody cases to television talk shows, and is used to implicate lesbians and gay men as unfit to parent. This is the broader context in which lesbian and gay parents discuss their children’s experiences of bullying. In this study, we provide a discursive psychological analysis of six lesbian and gay parents’ accounts of bullying. We argue that these accounts are discursively and rhetorically designed to deal with a heterosexist social/political context. Lesbian and gay parents face a dilemma of stake and accountability: reports of no bullying risk being heard as implausible given the prevalence of the bullying theme; at the same time, reports of bullying are equally if not more risky, raising the possibility of charges of bad parenting. We explore the detail of the parents’ accounts of bullying to illustrate how they are designed to negotiate this web of accountability, and we argue for the importance for critical social psychology of analysing the talk of socially/ politically marginalized groups.

    MacCallum, F. and Golombok, S. (2004) Children raised in fatherless families from infancy: a follow-up of children of lesbian and single heterosexual mothers at early adolescence, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 45(8): 1407-1419.

    Abstract: An increasing number of lesbian women and single heterosexual women are bringing up children with no male involvement. This study follows up to adolescence a sample of children raised in fatherless families from birth or early infancy.Methods: Twenty-five lesbian mother families and 38 families headed by a single heterosexual mother were compared with 38 two-parent heterosexual families. The quality of parenting by the mother, and the social and emotional development of the child, were assessed using standardised interview and questionnaire measures administered to mothers, children and teachers.Results: Children in fatherless families experienced more interaction with their mother, and perceived her as more available and dependable than their peers from father-present homes. However, there were no group differences in maternal warmth towards the children. Mothers raising their child without a father reported more severe disputes with their child than did mothers in father-present families. The children’s social and emotional development was not negatively affected by the absence of a father, although boys in father-absent families showed more feminine but no less masculine characteristics of gender role behaviour. No major differences in parenting or child development were identified between families headed by lesbian and single heterosexual mothers. Conclusions: The presence or absence of a father in the home from the outset does appear to have some influence on adolescents’ relationships with their mothers. However, being without a resident father from infancy does not seem to have negative consequences for children. In addition, there is no evidence that the sexual orientation of the mother influences parent–child interaction or the socioemotional development of the child.

    Barrett, H., and Tasker, F. (2002) Gay Fathers and their children: what we know and what we need to know, Lesbian and Gay Psychology Review 3: 3-10.

    Barrett, H., and Tasker, F. (2001) Growing up with a Gay Parent: Views of 101 gay fathers on their sons’ and daughters’ experiences, Educational and Child Psychology 18: 62-77.

    Golombok, S. (2000) Parenting: what really counts? London: Routledge.

    Non-British studies (selection)

    Farr, R.H., Forssell, S.L. and Patterson, C. J. (2010) Parenting and Child Development in Adoptive Families: Does Parental Sexual Orientation Matter?, Applied Developmental Science 14: 3: 164- 178.

    Abstract: This study investigated child development and parenting in 106 families headed by 27 lesbian, 29 gay, and 50 heterosexual couples (80% White, M¼42 years) with young adopted children (41% White, M¼3 years). Parents and teachers reported that, on average, children were developing in typical ways. Measures of children’s adjustment, parenting approaches, parenting stress, and couple relationship adjustment were not significantly associated with parental sexual orientation. However, several family process variables—parenting stress, parenting approaches, and couple relationship adjustment—were found to be significantly associated with children’s adjustment, regardless of parental sexual orientation. Implications for understanding the role of gender and sexual orientation in parenting, as well as for legal and policy debates, are discussed.

    Patterson C.J. (2009) Children of Lesbian and Gay Parents: Psychology, Law and Policy, American Psychologist 64(8): 727-736.

    Abstract: Legal and policy questions relevant to the lives of lesbian and gay parents and their children have recently been subjects of vigorous debate. Among the issues for which psychological research has been seen as particularly relevant are questions regarding child custody after divorce, same-sex marriage, adoption, and foster care. This article provides an overview of the current legal terrain for lesbian and gay parents and their children in the United States today, an overview of relevant social science research, and some commentary on the interface between the two. It is concluded that research findings on lesbian and gay parents and their children provide no warrant for legal discrimination against these families.

    Erich, S., Kanenberg, H., Case, K., Allen, T., Bogdanos, T. (2009) An empirical analysis of factors affecting adolescent attachment in adoptive families with homosexual and straight parents. Children and Youth Services Review, 31(3), 398-404.

    Astract: Data were collected on 154 adoptive families with gay/lesbian and straight adoptive parents (154 parent respondents and 210 adolescent respondents). This study was principally interested in factors affecting adolescent attachment including parent sexual orientation, adolescent and parent life satisfaction, and parent level of relationship satisfaction with their adopted child as well as other key parent, child and adoption characteristics. The results suggest that higher level of adopted adolescent attachment to parents is not related to adoptive parent sexual orientation. Adolescent attachment to parents is related to adolescent life satisfaction; parent level of relationship satisfaction with their adopted child, number of placements prior to adoption, and adolescent’s current age. Adolescent life satisfaction, like level of attachment is an indicator of youth well-being. This variable was found to have a significant relationship with parent level of relationship satisfaction with their adopted child. The results also indicated parent’s level of relationship satisfaction with their adopted child was related to parent life satisfaction. The variable child’s age at adoption was found to have significant relationships with parent life satisfaction, parent’s level of relationship satisfaction with their adopted child, and number of placements prior to adoption. Implications for policy, practice, education and further research are discussed.

    Patterson, C.J. (2005) Lesbian and Gay Parenting, Washington DC: American Psychological Association.

    Erich, S. (2005) Gay and Lesbian Adoptive Families: An Exploratory Study of Family Functioning, Adoptive Child’s Behaviour and Familial Support Networks. Journal of Family Social Work, 9(1), 17-32.

    Abstract: Traditional legal and social forces have hindered the adoption of children by gay and lesbian individuals and couples. Using a convenience sample drawn from gay and lesbian support groups and Internet sites, this exploratory study examines adoptive families with gay and lesbian parents in terms of family functioning capabilities, child’s behaviour, and family support networks. Data were gathered from 47 gay and lesbian parents and 68 of their adopted children. The results suggest that these adoptive families are performing within the healthy ranges established by scales measuring family functioning and adopted child’s behaviour. Additionally, the results of this study suggest these families have adequate levels of help from their support networks. Finally, those families who adopted siblings and those who adopted older children with a history of abuse reported higher levels of family functioning. The results of this exploratory study, in combination with previous studies of gay and lesbian families, support the practice of adoption by gay and lesbian adults.

    Patterson, C.J. (2004) Gay fathers in The Role of the Father in Child Development (Fourth Edition, M.E. Lamb (ed.), New York: John Wiley.

    Bennett, S. (2003) Is There a Primary Mom? Parental Perceptions of Attachment Bond Hierarchies Within Lesbian Adoptive Families. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 20(3): 159-173.

    Abstract: Basic tenets of attachment theory were evaluated in a qualitative study of 15 lesbian couples with internationally adopted children, focusing on parental perceptions of a primary mother-child attachment within the families. Interviews with 30 mothers examined variables affecting the hierarchy of parenting bonds, including division of labor, time with the child, and parental legal status. All children developed attachments to both mothers, but 12 of the 15 had primary bonds to one mother despite shared parenting and division of labor between the partners. Quality of maternal caretaking was a salient contributing factor; no significant relationship existed between primary parenting and parental legal status.

    Anderssen, N., Amelie, C, and Ytteroy, E.A. (2002) Outcomes for children with lesbian and gay parents: A review of studies from 1978 to 2000, Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 34(4): 335-351.

    Abstract: Twenty-three empirical studies published between 1978 and 2000 on nonclinical children raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers were reviewed (one Belgian/Dutch, one Danish, three British, and 18 North American). Twenty reported on offspring of lesbian mothers, and three on offspring of gay fathers. The studies encompassed a total of 615 offspring (age range 1.5–44 years) of lesbian mothers or gay fathers and 387 controls, who were assessed by psychological tests, questionnaires or interviews. Seven types of outcomes were found to be typical: emotional functioning, sexual preference, stigmatization, gender role behaviour, behavioural adjustment, gender identity, and cognitive functioning. Children raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers did not systematically differ from other children on any of the outcomes. The studies indicate that children raised by lesbian women do not experience adverse outcomes compared with other children. The same holds for children raised by gay men, but more studies should be done.

  • 19 Mar 2020 09:37 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

  • 19 Mar 2020 09:32 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Simple things make a difference

    If you follow the Amazon Smile link,  Amazon will donate 0.5 per cent of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees) of eligible purchases to New Family Social. It won't cost you a penny more than your usual shopping.

    Want to help us raise even more for free? Well now you can just by shopping online via Give as you Live. When you shop at over 4,300+ top stores including John Lewis & Partners, Expedia and Amazon via Give as you Live, they'll turn a percentage of your spend into free funds for us.

    Simply sign up, search for the retailer and start shopping. It's that simple.

    TheGivingMachine is a fundraising charity setup to help other charitable causes raise money online. By signing up and shopping online via TheGivingMachine you will generate a free cash donation for New Family Social's work. You can shop at over 2,200 retailers, including Amazon, Ebay, M&S, NEXT, Thomas Cook, Sainsbury, John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners.

  • 19 Mar 2020 09:31 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Rule youself in

    Foster carers are needed from a diverse range of backgrounds – with different life experiences, skills and qualities – to help meet the needs of those children and young people in foster care. Most fostering services will look at these common criteria:

    • Be at least 21 years-old – although by law you can apply to foster from 18

    • Have a spare bedroom big enough for a young person to live in

    • Be a full-time resident in the UK, or with leave to remain

    • Be able to give the time to care for a child or young person, depending on their needs

    As with the adoption process you need to be approved in order to become a foster carer. There are many foster care agencies who could approve you, so it is worth talking to a number of them before settling on the one that suits you best.

    The National Fostering Agency has some useful advice on choosing the right agency for you, if you’re struggling to make a decision.

    You can find agencies that welcome applications from LGBT+ people on our agency finder.

  • 19 Mar 2020 09:27 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Rule yourself in

    LGBT+ people often think that their sexual orientation or gender identity will rule them out of adopting or fostering. That’s not the case. People who adopt a child can be:

    • Single, married or unmarried
    • Lesbian, gay, bi or trans. Heterosexual people can adopt as well
    • From any ethnic or religious background, or have no faith at all
    • Living in rented accommodation or a homeowner
    • Employed or on benefits
    • Adopting for the first time or have birth children
    • People who’ve already adopted

    Your Health

    Your health won’t exclude you from adopting – although you do need to be fit enough to cope with the rigours of parenting. If you’re living with HIV this won’t prohibit you from adopting or applying to adopt.

    All adopters are assessed medically to reduce the risk that an adopted child experiences early loss of another parent. As part of this assessment you’ll be asked about a number of factors that can affect your health in the future – such as your alcohol consumption, whether you smoke and your weight.

    You can find out more about health factors and the adoption assessment process on the First4Adoption website.

    Your Home

    Adoption Agencies normally prefer prospective adopters to have a spare bedroom for each child placed for adoption. There may be some flexibility, depending on the age of the child and the possibility of converting existing accommodation to create an extra bedroom. If you own a greenhouse it may need to be removed from your property as it can pose a risk to children.

    Your Pets

    The safety of an adopted child is paramount to social workers approving adopters. As a result they need to be certain that any pets you own pose no threat to children’s health or safety. Also, some children may suffer from allergies which would prevent placement with some pets. A report from a vet may be requested. Pet owners usually need to complete additional paperwork while going through the approval process. If you have an external pond you may be asked to remove it and fill the space to make sure it poses no risk to a child.

  • 19 Mar 2020 09:24 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here you go...

    If you live in the UK are LGBT+ and have decided to adopt – either as a single adopter or as a couple – there’s some key steps our members have found useful to take.

    Find out more

    Yes, that includes reading this website. But don’t stop there. There’s a wealth of information from organisations like First4Adoption and adoption agencies around the country. Do search online for testimonials. Adopting is a fantastic, life-enhancing decision but it isn’t always an easy route to growing your family and it helps to enter the process well-informed. And don’t forget, if you’re a member of New Family Social you can ask other LGBT members of their experiences with the different agencies you’re considering.

    Attend an information session

    Adoption agencies routinely hold these around the country. Check out our events listings to find your nearest. These sessions are usually designed to give you a fuller understanding of the different elements involved in the adoption approval process and the matching process that follows it. You don’t have to sign up with the agency immediately after the session unless you want to and there are often real-life adopters or adoptees there who will talk about their experiences. It’s particularly worth talking to these speakers if they are LGBT+ for their perspective.

    One to one meetings with an agency

    At the end of an information session many agencies will offer you the option of having a further one-to-one meeting with them at a later date. It’s in this meeting you’ll be given the option of signing paperwork that effectively pairs you with the agency and starts the six month approval process. If you have significant reservations about starting your journey with the agency you’ve just talked to then ask for more time to consider your options.

    Choose your adoption agency

    Picking the right agency is crucial for you on your adoption journey. Different agencies can offer support in different ways; some are stronger on post-adoption support, some have a stronger track record on supporting LGBT+ applicants, some focus on matching ‘harder-to-place’ children with potential parents. The best approach is to attend a number of information sessions held by different agencies to find one that chimes with you. You don’t have to choose the agency nearest to you if it doesn’t feel like the right fit.

    Many of our members find it useful to ask some of the following questions when talking to potential agencies:

    • How many LGBT+ adopters have you successfully approved as adopters and matched with children?
    • How many children are you currently family-finding for?
    • What’s your agency’s approach to preparing a child who is being adopted by an LGBT+ parent/parents?
    • What specific support do you offer to LGBT+ adopters?

    You can find agencies that offer free membership of New Family Social to their adopters on our handy list.

  • 19 Mar 2020 08:27 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In a word... support

    Join New Family Social

    We started out as a group of LBGT+ singles and couples who wished to - or had - adopted and fostered in the UK. New Family Social was formed and is still run by LGBTQ+ adopters and foster carers who've been through the process, have children and know the joys - and sometimes the challenges - that previously looked-after children bring.

    Although we're not fans of labels for the sake of them, we welcome everyone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bi, asexual, trans, questioning, queer, intersex, pansexual, transgender, gender non-comforming, non-binary and gender fluid.

    We have also chosen the "+" sign, which we use to support everyone on the gender and sexuality spectrum who don't yet have a commonly accepted word or letter.  Bottom line is that we're inclusive and nurturing.  If you think that you're not covered in the above then drop us a line - we're kind, friendly and open.

    As we fundraise and receive grants for our target demographics, our support network doesn't cover cisgendered, heterosexual individuals or couples. Mainstream adoption and fostering charities provide excellent support for people who are cisgendered and heterosexual and we also recommend Adoption UK as a starting point.

    Benefits of being a New Family Social member

    Friendly Adoption Fostering Agencies

    All members get access to our directory of LGBTQ+ friendly adoption and fostering agencies in the UK. You may worry about whether an agency will welcome your enquiry.  If you choose to go on your adoption or fostering journey with one of our member agencies then  - once it verifies your identity - you'll have free access to our other services.

    Our member agencies are, by their inclusion in our database, tolerant and inclusive. They welcome LGBTQ+ couples and individuals and also use New Family Social for support and guidance when issues and questions arise around LGBTQ+ adoption and fostering. Not all of our member agencies have extensive histories in supporting LGBTQ+ people in adopting or fostering - however, their New Family Social membership means that they're open to learning the best way to support LGBTQ+ applicants.

    New Family Social also trains agency staff across the UK in how to support LGBTQ+ people through the adoption or fostering approval process.


    As a New Family Social member you'll have access to all the public events that our members - both individual and agency - post on our website. These range from information events held by agencies through to social events arranged for our Silver and Gold members.

    Forums and messaging 

    Our Gold members gain access to forums where you can ask us and the wider New Family Social family for advice, guidance, hints and tips. Or just turn to us to vent the frustrations of your day! Gold members can also access our members' directory and message other LGBTQ+ adopters and foster carers directly.

    Articles/ Competitions / Summer Camp

    Additionally, members have access to specific articles, competitions for grown ups and for kids, depending on their membership level. Our Gold and Silver members can also attend our world renowned (well, we think so) summer camp - a unique event that brings together hundreds of LGBTQ+ adopters, foster carers and their children.

    A note on security and our membership levels

    If you're LGBTQ+ you can become an individual member of  New Family Social member for free and without any verification of your identification, with a Bronze membership.

    However, some of our materials and events are for those members who've provided verification of their identity. This allows them access to our Silver and Gold memberships.  This is because some events may be for families to attend, or some of our forums allow our members to ask for advice on their home life, etc.

    It's likely that the agency you'll choose is an organisational member of New Family Social. Some 200 adoption and fostering agencies in the UK are already members. If this is the case, you can access a Gold membership free of charge, once you've been verified by your agency.

    If your agency doesn't hold an organisational membership with New Family Social then you can pay for a membership in your own right. You can still take out a paid Silver membership for yourself, without supplying any additional details beyond those needed for payment. If you want to pay to become a Gold member we'll need to verify your details with your agency. 

  • 19 Mar 2020 08:16 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Can I foster?

    Foster carers are needed from a diverse range of backgrounds – with different life experiences, skills and qualities – to help meet the needs of those children and young people in foster care. Most fostering services will look at these common criteria:

    • Be at least 21 years-old – although by law you can apply to foster from 18
    • Have a spare bedroom big enough for a young person to live in
    • Be a full-time resident in the UK, or with leave to remain
    • Be able to give the time to care for a child or young person, depending on their needs

    As with the adoption process you need to be approved in order to become a foster carer. There are many foster care agencies who could approve you, so it is worth talking to a number of them before settling on the one that suits you best. 

    You can find agencies that welcome applications from LGBT+ people on our agency finder - available free of charge if you register as a New Family Social Bronze member.

    The fostering assessment and approval process

    The assessment and approval process takes approximately six months on average. You can find out more about the process from the Fostering Network. You can also read this handy flow diagram from

    In Scotland you can contact Fosterline Scotland on 0141 204 1400 or email with fostering related queries and questions.

    Health and Social Care (HSC) Adoption & Fostering answer queries about the fostering approval process in Northern Ireland.

  • 19 Mar 2020 06:04 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Adoption across the UK

    Adoption in all four countries of the UK is divided into stages. Once an interested potential adopter has completed an initial registration-of-interest form with an agency then the process kicks off from there. This is usually done with their nearest local agency. You can find your nearest local LGBT+ friendly agency that’s joined New Family Social here.

    Stage 1 - Checks, Forms & Preparation

    This is adopter-led and is usually completed within two months of signing off an registration of interest form. Stage 1 is about completing basic background checks and references. You’ll be asked to undergo a medical examination with your GP and a criminal records check.

    All potential adopters complete a self-assessment form at this stage that provides an overview of their life to date, outlining where they’ve lived, key moments in their life, etc.  As part of stage one all potential adopters are expected to attend preparation training.

    At the end of Stage 1 your agency will contact you to let you know whether you’re accepted on to Stage 2.

    Stage 2 - Assessment & Panel

    This stage is agency-led and will be completed within four months, starting immediately after Stage 1 has concluded. In this stage a social worker will work with you and your family, assessing your strengths before presenting it in a report to the Adoption Panel.

    This stage is a more in-depth assessment of the information gathered in Stage 1 and includes face-to-face and telephone interviews with referees.

    Potential adopters are expected to attend further preparation training and attend the Adoption Panel to answer questions based on the information gathered in your social worker’s report.

    Stage 3 - Family Finding & Placement

    Unlike in previous stages there is no requirement for Stage 3 to be completed in a set time. In this stage your adoption agency works with local authorities to find the right child for you.

    If your agency is delivering services on behalf of your local authority they may ask that you wait for a few months before looking beyond the region’s boundaries for potential matches. They will discuss the suitability of children with you and a matching panel makes the final decision.

    Once a successful match has been made a social worker will support you and your children as you get to know each other, start living together and become a family.

    Differences between the Countries

    There are slight differences between the countries and the specifics of each country can be found in the links below this table.

    Adoption in England - For more information on adopting in England visit the First4Adoption website.

    Adoption in Scotland - For more detail visit Scotland’s Adoption Register.

    Adoption in Wales - You can find out the detail at the Welsh National Adoption Service.

    Adoption in Northern Ireland - In Northern Ireland the law only recently changed to allow same-sex couples to adopt, although LGBT+ single people were able to do so. The process is similar to that in England, with some slight differences. For more information visit the NI Direct website.

  • 1 Jan 2020 11:25 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For the products and items in our shop we have sourced these from organisations with strong environmental, ethical sourcing and manufacturing and delivery policies.

    Environmental Policy

    • All plastic removed from the delivery packaging
    • Our suppliers use only water-based inks. They don't contain any regulated or unregulated chemicals harmful to the environment.
    • All the excess and waste cardboard and paper we produce is recycled.
    • Waste ink is unavoidable, but we dispose of ours respon­sibily.
    • Failed prints are also unavoidable, and as of March 2018 all products that fail quality checks will be donated to charity. 
    • We use DPD for delivery have a carbon neutral commitment.
    • As of April 2019, the packaging used to ship all orders is 100% plastic free (with the exception of canvases which use a bio-degradable bubble wrap for protection). 

    Ethical Policy

    Our Garments and products made by companies with strong ethical polices. (Note not all of the products are currently available via the NFS website).


    "We're passionate about doing things the right way at AWDis, which is why we only use WRAP certified factories. We and our global partners have a shared commitment to fair and safe working practices throughout our supply chain. We recognise our respon­sibility to ensure the manuf­ac­turing methods used match the ideals of those that wear and love our products.­ 

    "We recognise that our customers and end users have a vested interest in ethical and envi­ron­mental consi­dera­tions when it comes to manuf­ac­turing."

    Read more about AWDis' ethical policy here


    "Beechfield Brands is firmly committed to offering good value products with industry leading quality standards, but not at the expense of any individual in the supply chain, nor with unacceptable envi­ron­mental impact. Beechfield Brands do not condone the use of any forced or coerced labour and we implement a strict assessment process with our suppliers to ensure that factories meet, or exceed, applicable local standardsin terms of wages, health and safety, welfare and human rights.­ 

    "Beechfield Brands is committed to protecting the quality of the environment through sound envi­ron­mental practice, ensuring that factories meet or exceed local envi­ron­mental laws in an effort to reduce waste and minimise the envi­ron­mental impact of their operations."

    Bella & Canvas

    "We are committed to maintaining and upholding responsible workplace and envi­ron­mental standards. All US production and office facilities have received Platinum accre­dita­tion from WRAP. We only work with partners who share our values of a humane and safe worklace and are in the process of getting all our inter­national facilities WRAP certified as well. 

    "Bella & Canvas are proud to produce responsibily made garments, manufatured in a humane, sustainable, eco-conscious way. 100% NO SWEATSHOPS.

    "Our sewing floor is 100% solar powered and creates almost no landfill, everything we can't turn into a tee is either recycled or repurposed."

    Read more about Bella & Canvas' ethical policy here

    Continental Clothing

    "Continental Clothing Co. has been running a pro-active social respon­sibility programme as a member of Fair Wear Foundation since early 2006. All the Company’s manuf­ac­turing facilities are regularly audited for social compliance and are running active monitoring programmes in accordance with standards advocated by the Inter­national Labour Orga­nisa­tion, the Ethical Trading Initiative and other inter­national bodies. The Company publishes an annual Social Report.

    "Continental Clothing Co. recognises that garment manuf­ac­turing is one of the most envi­ron­men­tally damaging and harmful industrial sectors on the planet, and takes decisive and often pioneering steps towards addressing the many negative impacts.­ 

    "In January 2008, Continental Clothing Co. became the first company in the world to calculate the carbon footprint and place the Carbon Reduction Label on textile products.­ We have reduced the carbon footprint of EarthPo­sitive®­products by around 90% through a combination of innovative product design, low impact organic agriculture, efficiency in manuf­ac­turing, and by replacing standard grid electricity with renewable wind power. We do not use carbon offsets and our footprint calculations are certified by the Carbon Trust Certi­fica­tions in the U.K."

    Read more about Continental Clothing's ethical policy here.

    Gildan (including Anvil)

    "Gildan is committed to maintaining high ethical standards in all its operations and business practices worldwide. The Gildan Code of Conduct defines Gildan's values and acts as a framework in guiding its operations and business practices, as well as those of its contractors, consultants, agents and suppliers.

    "The Gildan Genuine Stewardship programme outlines its strategic priorities in the areas of People, Environment, Community and Product. Gildan incorporates social and envi­ron­mental respon­sibility practices into its manuf­ac­turing processes, while providing a safe, healthy workplace for all its employees.­ 

    "Our Honesty Project focuses on creating fantastic product, thoughtfully engineered for the great outdoors. In doing so we will enhance the lives of those touched by our business."

    Read more about Gildan's ethical policy here


    "We are an award-winning ethical clothing company, backed by a strong ethical ethos, aiming to create quality garments that will be worn and loved for years to come. We are proving that commercial, large volume manuf­ac­turing can happen in an ethical and sustainable manner with care to everyone within the supply chain.

    "Our code of conduct is a shared committment between us and our partner suppliers and factories, and is a set of standards tha we live by. We also endeavour to protect and preserve the environment, through careful waste management and water treatment plants."

    Phone cases

    Our phone cases are imported from South Korea by a UK supplier. They have an ethical policy agreement which includes the following:

    - Commitment to Ethical Trading

    - Employment is freely chosen

    - Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining respected

    - Working conditions are safe and hygienic

    - Child labour shall not be used

    - Wages paid for a standard working week meet, at a minimum, national legal or industry benchmark standards, whichever is higher. In any event wages shall always be enough to meet basic needs and to provide some discre­ti­onary income.­ 

    - No discri­mina­tion is practised

    - No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed

    - Only workers with a legal right to work in the country should be employed


    Skinnifit (including Larkwood)

    "We work with the very highest level of manuf­ac­turers, developing strong partnerships throughout the world. All our manuf­ac­turing locations are regularly inspected by our local repre­sen­ta­tives, ensuring that working conditions are to the very highest standard, working hours do not exceed local government criteria and child or enforced labour are strictly prohibited.­ 

    "We are also working with local charities to give back to the countries who have given us so much support through the years, something we feel very strongly and passionately about. This is what makes us the company what it is today - a forward thinking, caring and devoted orga­nisa­tion."

    Read more about Skinnifit (including Larkwood)'s ethical policy here.


    "Sol's supports women's emancipation as well as women's and children's education thanks to the Sreepur Village Orphanage in Bangladesh. This is more than an orphanage and operates more as a training school that helps destitute families and orphans by providing them an education and training to regain a social and professional life. 

    "Sol's supports the NUK (Nari Uddug Kendra) hospital to help to finance a community hospital in Bangladesh. This project aims at improving the health of the people living in the rural community and supplying the population with a low-cost and good quality medical service. 

    "Sol's supports the factories in order to improve the working conditions, the respect of the workers' rights and of the security rules. By affiliating with Fear Wear Foundation, Sol's also commits to make improvements that tend toward norms, based on an action plan approved by the Fear Wear Foundation. Each year, Sol's commits to provide a status report and noted improvements to Fear Wear Foundation."

    Read more about Sol's ethical policy here.


    "Since day one in 2011, Stanley/­Stella has embraced the Fair Wear Foundation initiatives and has been focusing on cooperating in a responsible way with its suppliers, to the benefit of all workers. Respect for the planet is also strongly rooted in our DNA, as 100% of our cotton is certified organic (by GOTS or OCS), grown without pesticides, GMOs or chemical fertilisers. Other raw materials are also highly ranked on the “susta­ina­bility scale”: recycled polyester, Modal®, Tencel®, linen, and more.

    "In order to build strong and close partnerships with production facilities, Stanley/­Stella has decided to select a very limited number of factories to work with, in a limited number of countries. The members of the Stanley/­Stella board have made an important step towards in- creased transpa­rency. Based on a proposal supported by the CEO and the newly appointed Susta­ina­bility Manager, we publicly name all of our factories, giving more weight to the trans- parency objective than to the business interests of keeping confi­den­ti­ality."

    Read more about Stanley/­Stella's ethical policy here.


    "At Vanilla we believe that business should be conducted with total respect for people and the environment. We adopt a rigorous selection process for garment manuf­ac­turers, ensuring only those that are totally committed to exceeding our high ethical standards become appointed suppliers. We have never purchased from a supplier that we haven’t inspected and approved personally.

    "We do not own our factories and choose instead to build strong working relati­on­ships with carefully selected suppliers. We employ local agents and staff based in each of our garment factories whose sole focus is to ensure total compliance of our strict ethical standards for suppliers and to test fabric and finished garments at source."

    Read more about Vanilla's ethical policy here.


    "No matter how much we love what we do, in the grand scheme of things, we’re just making hats here. We know there are more important things in life, such as having a positive impact on our world. That especially holds true in regards to our environment. Taking short cuts to stretch out profits is just bad business. All of our raw materials and processes are carefully selected and monitored to ensure they are not harming our planet.

    "We look to tough European standards as our benchmark, as well as companies whose envi­ron­mental policies we admire. So you can rest assured that our hats stand for both quality and envi­ron­men­tally sound business practices."

    Read more about Yupoong's ethical policy here

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