2nd annual LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week could help meet desperate need for foster carers and adopters across the UK
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are being urged to consider adoption and fostering, ahead of the second annual LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, which runs from 4th to 10th March 2013.
Leading adoption and fostering charities believe LGBT people could be help make up the shortfall of foster carers and adoptive parents across the UK. It’s estimated that 4,000 children need adopting every year, and an additional 9,000 foster carers must be found.
It’s estimated that if just two percent of LGBT people came forward to foster or adopt, they could meet the shortfall of homes needed for children currently in care. (See below for explanation of estimate.)
LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week is a series of events around the country aimed to educate prospective parents and carers about the processes involved and to let them hear from others in their area who have adopted or fostered children themselves. It is organised by New Family Social, the charity run by LGBT adopters and foster carers for families and families-to-be.
Action for Children is the week’s main sponsor. The charity’s Director of Public Policy, Helen Donohoe, says: “From 140 years of working with the UK’s most vulnerable children, we know how important it is to find the best possible placement for each and every child in care – and we know that LGBT people often come to adoption or fostering as the first choice for expanding their family, bringing love, real enthusiasm and resourcefulness.
“Throughout LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, our friendly approachable staff will be on hand at events across the UK to answer questions and help potential parents take the first steps towards providing one of the thousands of children desperately in need with a stable, loving home.”
Andy Leary-May, Director of New Family Social, says: “Some people are still put off by fears that they won’t be welcomed by agencies, but things are changing. In our group we have huge and diverse range of families, including plenty of parents who are single, or in their fifties. It’s clear to see how well our children are doing, and what a positive and rewarding choice fostering and adoption can be”.
For information and to find an event nearby, visit lgbtadoptfosterweek.org.uk.
Notes to Editors
- The Fostering Network estimates that around 9,000 additional foster carers are needed across the UK (a regional breakdown is available from the Fostering Network www.fostering.net).
- The British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) estimates 4,000 children across the UK need adopting every year.
- New Family Social estimates that 1 million LGBT people in the UK may have the potential to adopt or foster a child.
- Approximately 10% of New Family Social adopters and foster carers are single.
- Same-sex couples have the right to apply to adopt jointly since changes in the law came into effect in 2005 (England and Wales) and 2009 (Scotland).
- New Family Social is the UK charity for LGBT adoptive and foster families, and families-to-be. A network of 600 families share support online, and regional groups meet regularly around the UK. For more information visit www.newfamilysocial.org.uk
- Action for Children is a national charity delivering services that respond to the local needs of children, young people, their families and communities. The charity runs UK-wide adoption and fostering services, which work with the hardest-to-place children and young people such as sibling groups, older children and children from BME backgrounds.
- Basis for 2 percent estimate: UK population between 25 and 49 years of age = 21m (2011 Census). Likely lesbian, gay and bisexual population = 5-7% (Department of Trade and Industry, ‘Final Regulatory Impact Assessment: Civil Partnership Act’, 2004). Couples make up 90% of the membership of New Family Social (NFS figure). This makes more than 500,000 potential family units, of which 2 percent = 10,000.
- For details of LGBT Adoption & Fostering Week, visit www.lgbtadoptfosterweek.org.uk or follow us on Twitter @lgbtadoptfoster
- Case-studies and logos are available here: http://www.lgbtadoptfosterweek.org.uk/for-agencies/
- For further case-studies and information about LGBT adoption & fostering, please call New Family Social: 0843 2899457 or email firstname.lastname@example.org