Adoption and Fostering
If you have chosen Adoption or fostering as your route to parenthood you won’t be alone.
Many LGBT parents have chosen this specific way to have a family since the changes in the Adoption and Children Act in 2002, which was not full implemented until 2005 .
Even David Cameron has recently stated “When there are children in need of a loving family, and gay couples with so much love to give, we should not allow prejudice to stand in the way of progress for our children or for our wider society. “That sends a powerful message about who we are as a country in the modern world”
With all this positive reinforcement about adoption its hard to loss the underlining difficulties many families face when trying to adopt. This route is not easy the process can be unpredictable and frustrating. Many agencies are struggling in the current economic climate, and the service has a whole is under resourced.
However if you can accept these difficulties and work with your social worker, you will find the process to becoming an adoptive parent, supportive and life changing as you make a huge difference to a Childs life.
Research by New Family Social into the common barriers preventing prospective LGBT adopters from enquiring found:
• 36% thought sexual orientation was a barrier to becoming parents
• 35% thought the assessment and matching process would be easier if they were not LGBT
• 25% had been told they should not be a parent.
According to The British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), 6% of children were adopted by a same sex couple during 2012/13, an increase from 4% in 2011/12. This figure is rising and already PACT is ahead of its peers with more than 13% of adoption applications coming from LGBT applicants.
Proud 2 b parents suggest that you read
or check out
www.newfamilysocial.org.uk – an organisation that specifically supports LGB adopters and fosters
LGBT Adopters and Fosters Experiences
TWO DADS EXPERIENCE OF ADOPTION After years of talking about adoption, we finally decided that we would phone Salford to see if it was possible. Being a gay male couple, we expected to get a negative reaction, but the opposite happened. Next thing we knew, we had been invited to an open meeting and also received an information pack.
We attended the meeting, which gave us a chance to ask questions and also to gauge whether they wanted a couple like us on their books. Before long we were visited at home where we were asked why we wanted to adopt etc, and for our home to be checked for suitability. A couple of weeks later we received a letter with details of the 7 week ‘Adoption Preparation Course’. We found the course quite interesting, and we learnt a lot from the information given. Plus we also made some new friends. At the end of the course we said we still wanted to continue, so 6 weeks later the home assessment started.
Our Family placement worker (social worker to you and me) was fantastic, we felt very comfortable with her and that made it easy to be 100% honest, which is the most important thing to do during the whole process. But in some ways we still expected to get a “Thanks, but no thanks” back. After 3 months and about 10 meetings at home, our file was put before the panel. We attended the panel meeting and they did have questions, mainly about if we had access to any LGBT support groups. As we had already obtained information about some, the panel were happy and after a few tense minutes, our family placement worker gave us the news, we were approved!!!! Now the long wait to be matched began. We thought we would be waiting years rather than months, as we would be at the bottom of the pile. But just 9 months later we were told we were matched with a little boy. Within 2 months, made up of meetings, decorating and excitement the panel approved the match. The foster carer had already been talking to our son about different family lifestyles and set ups. His foster carer was brilliant, giving us all the support we needed but also stepping back to let us get on with introductions.
Finally, twenty months after phoning Salford about the possibility of adoption and expecting to be told no at every opportunity or to receive different treatment to everyone else, we are now a family with our wonderful son. As we said, we made friends on the course. This was with two straight couples whom we kept in contact with and occasionally met up to discuss how we were all getting on. This also helped to confirm to us that we received exactly the same service and reactions as they did. In fact we were all matched within months of each other and all our final adoption orders went though within weeks. Now all our children really look forward to seeing each other and love to play together, they are best of friends, as we have all become good friends.