Barnardo’s LGBT+ foster carers and adopters have joined the charity in urging people to welcome a child into their life during LGBT+ Fostering & Adoption Week, which runs from March 4–10 with the theme ‘7 Days to Love’.
IN support of the awareness week, some of Barnardo’s LGBT+ foster carers and adopters have spoken out to encourage others to consider fostering and adoption.
One such couple, George and Martin Lusty from London, adopted two little boys when they were three and four in July 2014 and say it has “tipped our lives upside down – in a good way!”
George said: “It’s possibly the biggest challenge you will ever undertake but it’s so worth it. We have two cheeky, kind, inquisitive boys who are the centre of our lives. One is incredibly sharp and he loves music. His brother is more reflective, loves the natural world and can gasp at the beauty of the everyday. We are so pleased we adopted two brothers – they are an incredible duo with a fierce loyalty to each other and such a strong bond.”
George said he would strongly urge any LGBT+ person or couple, who is thinking of adopting, to take that first step and contact Barnardo’s.
He said: “This is the most life-changing decision you can make and to be honest you do have to make a leap of faith. I’d say contact Barnardo’s and look on websites like New Family Social to make contact with other adoptive parents, it’s so helpful to talk to people who are going through the process.”
Sue Mason and her partner Fay Munson, from Essex, have been permanent foster carers for Andrea, who has cerebral palsy, since she was two and a half.
Fay said: “So many children are in need of good homes and we really wanted to help make a difference to a child’s life”.
Sue added: “The first two months were challenging – nothing can prepare you for becoming a parent – but fostering Andrea is extremely rewarding for us as a family. Andrea has made a huge difference to our lives and has given us so much. We couldn’t imagine life without her.
“Andrea has made such amazing progress from the little girl who first came to live with us. She continuously amazes us with how far she has come. Despite her disabilities Andrea has a thirst for life and has a fantastic sense of humour, she loves Disney, pirates, lions, and her iPad!”
The couple also said they would encourage anyone thinking about fostering to get in touch with Barnardo’s to find out more.
Sue said: “I would advise anyone considering fostering or adoption to follow their heart. It has been the most rewarding thing Fay and I have ever done and we have also got back so much in return. I would say be brave and go for it.”
Javed Khan, Barnardo’s Chief Executive, said: “At Barnardo’s we find loving families for vulnerable children in communities across the UK, and we give foster carers and adopters the training and support they need.
“Fostering and adoption can be a challenge but it’s also incredibly rewarding and gives children the love, care and life skills they need to build better and brighter futures.
“I would urge anyone from the LGBT+ community who is considering becoming a foster carer or adopter to get in touch to find out more. Incredible things happen when you believe in children.”
To find out more about fostering and adoption, click here: