Research from New Family Social reveals that LGBTQI couples currently family-finding are facing huge struggles 

BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS, IMAGE VIA INSTAGRAM

According to brand new research conducted by New Family Social, the UK’s charity for LGBTQI adopters and foster carers, 28% of LGBTQI adopters currently waiting to be matched with a child say that their sexual orientation has been a barrier in the approval process. Similarly, 16% of LGBTQI people currently being assessed for adoption approval say that their sexual orientation is a barrier. 

The research looked at 153 LGBTQI parents and carers from across the UK. One lesbian adoption applicant, currently family-finding, said: “We’re a lesbian couple and have been told that where there are lots of couples expressing interest in a boy, we are less likely to be chosen, because family finders will want a male adopter. We’ve also been turned down twice so far with the reason given that the children (both girls) have a close relationship with their male foster carer so need a male adopter.”

Over 50% of LGBTQI adoptive parent respondents also report seeking post-adoption support in the past year, with one in four saying they’ve done so in the past three months. Of these, 44% report that their agency responds to direct requests for support within five working days. However, 9.2% report that their agency rarely responds to direct requests for support. 

Tor Docherty, Chief Executive of New Family Social, said: “While one in seven adoptions in England in 2019 were to same-sex couples, this doesn’t mean all LGBT+ people find the adoption and fostering assessment processes smooth and without incident. In 2020 it’s unacceptable if a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is used to justify discriminating against them. The needs of a vulnerable child should always be paramount in every case, not the preconceptions of decision makers.”

A summary of the report is available from New Family Social’s website.

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