The number of children adopted by same sex couples has risen four-fold since 2007, analysis by an adoption and fostering support group reveals.
Official statistics collated by New Family Social (NFS), a support network for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) adopters and foster carers, shows that 370 children were adopted by same-sex couples in 2014, up from 90 children in 2007 when the figures were first collected.
Overall, a total of 1,313 children have been adopted by LGBT couples in England, Scotland and Wales since a change in the law a decade ago.
Introduced through the Adoption and Children Act 2002, measures allowing unmarried couples, including same-sex couples, to apply for joint adoption came into effect in December 2005.
Laws have also been in place since 2007, making it unlawful for providers of services, including fostering and adoption services, to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation. This law is still enforced under the Equality Act 2010.
The data comes during the NFS’s LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, now in its fourth year, with this year’s campaign being helped by Barnardo’s to highlight the need for more carers to come forward and foster or adopt children, especially sibling groups.
Tor Docherty, NFS chief executive, said: “Adoption and fostering agencies recognise the strengths we have as parents and we’re pleased to see the increase in the number of LGBT adoptive families.
“This year we have more than 60 adoption agencies taking part in events across the UK, showing how much of a recruitment focus there is now on the LGBT community.
“We are very proud of the support our 1,900 members give each other which in turn gives children the confidence of knowing other families like theirs.”
During 2014, same-sex couples made up 6.7 per cent of all adoptions in England, 5.8 per cent of all adoptions in Wales and 2.9 per cent of all adoptions in Scotland.
Javed Khan, Barnardo’s chief executive, said of the 123 children it placed for adoption in the year up to December 2014, 16 were placed with LGBT adopters – a rate of 13 per cent, more than twice the national average.
“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.”
Story courtesy of CYP Now