Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are being urged to consider adoption and fostering, ahead of the second annual LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, which runs from 4 to 10 March 2013.
Leading adoption and fostering charities believe LGBT people could 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.
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, added, ‘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.’