The latest estimates in England show that four in 10 children with a sibling are separated from a sibling when placed in care. Led by New Family Social, LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week starts today, Monday, March 6. The awareness week asks potential applicants to think about the number of vulnerable children they could parent or care for.
According to New Family Social, the need for more LGBTQ+ applicants to explore adoption and fostering is as great as ever. In England in 2022 there were some 82,170 looked-after children. Despite strong numbers of LGBTQ+ people adopting, the number of looked-after children grew by 2% from the previous year.
Previous analysis showed 47% of same-gender couples waiting for an adoption match were more open to considering groups of brothers and sisters, compared to 36 per cent of different-gender couples.
Tor Docherty, New Family Social Chief Executive, said: ‘We hope LGBTQ+ potential applicants will think about the number of children they could care for. Some children need to be cared for by themselves. Others will thrive if they can live with their siblings. In adoption and fostering the needs of the child and children must remain paramount – for some siblings this means staying together.’
The 2023 campaign, supported by some 120 adoption and fostering agencies across the UK, is the only campaign to solely focus on LGBTQ+ potential applicants. Among the agencies supporting it are all the adoption collaboratives in Wales, where LGBTQ+ applicants can access dedicated support no matter where in the country they are.
Running since 2012, the campaign’s seen the number of adoptions in England to same-gender couples grow from one in 31 to one in six in 2022. In Wales in 2022, one in four adoptions were to same-gender couples. In Northern Ireland it was one in 10. In Scotland in 2021, one in 11 adoptions were to same-gender couples. No government in the UK publishes data on the number of LGBTQ+ foster carers who care for looked-after children.
You can follow LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week online and through Twitter (@lgbtadoptfoster) and Facebook (@newfamilysocial).