One-in-six of Faith in Families’ approved adopters this year identified as being from Gay, Lesbian and Transgender communities – and the adoption agency and children’s charity is backing the annual LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week, this week (March 1-7, 2021).
Faith in Families (FiF) – an independent adoption agency and children’s charity, operating across the East Midlands for over 70 years – is set to have approved 29 adopters/adoptive couples by the end of this year (March 31st, 2021); with six of these identifying as Lesbian, Gay or Transgender.
The FiF figures are announced as New Family Social, a UK charity led by LGBT+ adopters and foster carers, holds its annual LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week for 2021 this week (March 1-7); with a theme of ‘Build Your Family’. UK Government figures (published December 2020) revealed around one-in-six adoptions in England in 2020 were by LGBTQ+ adopters, the highest proportion recorded to date.
In a week of (mostly online) events and activities, the New Family Social-led 2021 campaign will explain the growing importance of single-sex couples and single LGBTQ+ adopters in giving children in care a new home; with explanations of the application, training, assessment and approval process involved in becoming an adopter. Around 60 UK adoption and fostering agencies are backing the week-long campaign including Faith in Families.
Faith in Families’ 2020/21 approved adopter figures match the high national trend, of one-in-six adopters being LGBTQ+. FiF’s latest Ofsted (2018) report – rating the agency as ‘Outstanding’ for the sixth consecutive time – also highlighted that: ‘Leaders and managers value diversity and positively promote tolerance, equality and diversity.”
Robert, 44, and Lewis, 29, adopted three siblings through Faith in Families – a boy and a girl, and then a second boy, all now aged under five – at different stages over the last three years.
Robert said: “It has been such a positive experience for us. We worked with two Faith in Families’ social workers and both were very supportive. Even when you rang up and spoke to a different member of staff, there was always that personal connection.”
He added: “We do occasionally get some looks when we all go out as a family but it’s more about people trying to work out the family dynamic, of two men and three young children. We’ve never had a negative reaction from people.”
Married couple Alex and Gemma began their adoption process with FiF in 2014 and adopted two boys, now aged ten and 12.
Alex, who identifies as non-binary, said: “We were quite realistic going into adoption about the challenges children in care present; how they might have experienced drug abuse, physical abuse or neglect. You have to be. We have friends who are foster carers and also spoke to the adoptive parents who’d taken on children they’d fostered.”
They added: “Having our children has made me think more about how I am, how I react to things. You have to be prepared to change, yourself.”
Gemma said: “One of the best things has been seeing how the boys have changed. They meet their former foster carers now and they say how the boys have grown, how they show a lot of empathy for others, which is a great thing.
She added: “Faith in Families have been brilliant with us.”
Laura Payne, Acting Chief Executive Officer at Faith in Families, said: “Adopters need to reflect the diverse society we live in, bringing different skills and strengths to meet the challenges of raising children from a care background. The most important thing is having the energy, good health, commitment and understanding to create your family through adoption.
“At Faith in Families we’re very proud of our excellent track record in attracting LGBTQ+ adopters, often by good word of mouth from happy service users, and we’re fully behind this year’s LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week.”
For more information about Faith in Families and its services generally see its website at https://faithinfamilies.org/
For further information on this news release please contact Sean Kirby, Business Development Officer at Faith in Families, on email Sean.Kirby@faithinfamilies.org or mobile 07880 388186.