New Family Social’s LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week 2015, which runs from March 2nd to 8th, is already receiving much praise and support. Caroline Selkirk, Chief Executive British Association for Adoption & Fostering, said,
“At the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) we are delighted to support LGBT Fostering and Adoption Week. This campaign provides a unique opportunity to raise the profile of LGBT adoption and fostering, tackle prejudice head on, and enable prospective parents and foster carers to meet and learn more about the process.”
This year New Family Social has joined forces with children’s charity Barnardo’s to highlight the need for more carers to come forward and adopt or foster children, in particular, sibling groups who often wait the longest to find new forever families. Javed Khan, Chief Executive at Barnardo’s, noted,
“As an adoption agency Barnardo’s specialises in finding adopters for older children, children in sibling groups and children with additional or uncertain needs. We are very proud of the contribution our adopters and carers from the LGBT community make towards the work of Barnardo’s in turning around the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in the UK.”
Statistics from the British Association of Adoption and Fostering show that 7% of children were adopted by same-sex couples during the year ending March 31st 2014. This was up by 1% from the previous year. Chief Executive of After Adoption, Lynn Charlton, MBE, stated,
“We need people to come forward to adopt who can provide loving, stable homes and who will commit to children for life. Sexuality isn’t a factor in that. People who identify as LGBT play a key role in creating these families and this year 1 in 5 of our approved adopters identified as gay or lesbian. LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, organised by New Family Social, is a great opportunity to assure anyone considering adoption that their enquiry will be positively welcomed.”
At over 60 events around the UK, LGBT people considering becoming parents will learn about the process, hear real stories from parents and carers and have their questions answered. They’ll have the opportunity to mingle with other prospective parents and foster carers and meet agencies face to face, and consider their options. James Foyle, foster carer recruitment expert at The Fostering Network, highlighted that,
“LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the diversity of people who can and do foster. It is a time for fostering services to consider how they engage with the LGBT community, address any misconceptions that may exist and help those thinking of fostering to identify whether they have the right skills and qualities to foster.”
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. As Jeanne Kaniuk OBE, Coram’s Managing Director of Adoption and Permanent Families’ Service, said,
“The boys and girls waiting for new mums or dads have had a difficult start in life and will need extra support. Extra cuddles, extra reassurance – the patience and empathy of a parent who will stand by their side.
Many of these children are past their toddler years, or need to be adopted with a brother or sister. Being a parent is a full-time job, but as one of our parents, Paul, who adopted with his partner Graham, says, life without them soon becomes unimaginable: ‘We love them more than lie-ins, more than our own space, more than nights out with my mates, more than peaceful Sunday mornings…which is lucky… Dad x.”
New Family Social are very excited about this year’s events. Please check www.lgbtadoptfosterweek.org.uk for events in your local area. The Manchester Flagship event is on Monday 2nd March, and the London Flagship event is on Friday 6th March. Booking essential.
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