Press release 3-3-14



Embargoed until 00:01 on Monday 3 March 2014

One in three LGBT people believe they can’t foster or adopt

“Being a good parent has nothing to do with being gay or straight”

SEXUALITY and gender identity are seen as barriers to becoming parents by one in three (36 per cent) [1] LGBT people – rising to one in two (53 per cent) in Scotland, according to new research published by Action for Children and New Family Social.

The survey of 400 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) parents and people who are considering fostering and adoption in the UK, also reveals that one in four (25 per cent) [2] were told that they should not be a parent – often by their own family.

The findings mark the launch of New Family Social’s LGBT Fostering and Adoption Week (3-9 March), as the two charities partner to dispel the myths within the gay community and the general public. Other Action for Children research shows one in three (32 per cent) of the general UK population [3] believe that being gay means you are unable to foster children.

Jacob Tas, interim chief executive of Action for Children, said: “Being a good parent has nothing to do with being gay or straight. Right now there are more than 6,000 [4] children waiting to be adopted and an urgent need to find 8,600 [5] foster families. We run fostering and adoption services and help children achieve their dreams of having families.”

Tor Docherty, director of New Family Social said: “If just one per cent of the LGBT community adopt or foster, this could plug the gap and ensure every child in the country has a loving home.”

Joe Smith, 39, and Michael Blair, 47, from Kent [6], adopted a three-year-old boy in 2012. “When we told our friends and family that we were going to adopt, quite a few of them were surprised and several actually commented saying ‘oh they are letting you have children’.
“We truly believed that we would be the last couple to get a child. This was completely incorrect and if we hadn’t researched further into adoption we would still be waiting to become Daddy Mike and Daddy Joe to Archie.” [7]

For more information visit or

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For further information, a copy of the survey, photos and interviews with Jacob Tas, Tor Docherty or case studies, please call Liz Fenwick on 020 3124 0661 or 07718 114031 or email For out of hours media enquiries please call 07802 806 679.

Notes to editor

[1] 36% of the LGBT community thought that their sexuality would be a barrier to becoming a parent (this rises to 40% for actual adopters and 43% those considering fostering). Found by surveying New Family Social members in February 2014, 400 people took part.

[2] 25% of the LGBT community have been told they shouldn’t be a parent (this rises to 30% for actual adopters and 33% for actual foster carers). Found by surveying New Family Social members in February 2014, 400 people took part.

[3] 32% of people believe that if you are gay you are unable to foster. 2,000 people were surveyed by Populus in July 2013.

[4]  British Association for Adoption and Fostering.

[5] Fostering Network, January 2014

[6] Surnames have been changed to protect the child’s identity.

[7] Name has been changed to protect the child’s identity.


  • The LGBT community accounts for 5% of the UK population.
  • 82% of New Family Social members said that Action for Children has a good or excellent attitude to sexuality and gender identity.
  • 25-35 year olds and London, being the largest region, are the largest groups that believe being gay is a barrier to becoming a foster carer which was discovered by an Action for Children survey of the general public in September 2013.
  • There are more than 92,000 children in care in the UK and there are upwards of 6,000 children across the UK who need to be adopted every year plus 8,600 foster families need to be found for 2014.
  • Action for Children is the leading children’s charity in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers 2014.


About LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week

The third LGBT adoption and fostering week, run by New Family Social in partnership with Action for Children, aims to encourage more LGBT adopters and foster carers to come forward.  More than 40 events are planned around the UK involving more than 60 of the UK’s adoption and fostering agencies.  For more information visit


About New Family Social

New Family Social is the UK network for almost 800 LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) adoptive and foster families. As the only UK charity led by LGBT adopters and foster carers we also work with agencies to help with service delivery, and to widen the pool of new parents for the many children who are waiting. For more information visit


About Action for Children

Action for Children works directly with more than 300,000 children, young people, parents and carers each year.  With 650 services, which include adoption and fostering, throughout the UK we are in communities where you live and work. We help transform the lives of thousands of children and young people each year and we’ve been doing so for 145 years. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @aslongasittakes.

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