Monday 20 to Sunday 26 February 2012 is LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, organised by charity New Family Social to encourage more lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to consider adoption or fostering.
A survey of social workers commissioned by New Family Social has shown that LGBT people often have the right blend of strengths, skills and experience to raise children who have been in care and give them a new start. Adoption figures are at a 10-year low and so the charity is aiming to raise the profile of fostering and adoption within the LGBT community by organising recruitment and awareness events throughout the UK.
Same-sex couples have had the right to apply to adopt jointly since changes in the law came into effect in 2005 (England and Wales) and 2009 (Scotland) and adoption and fostering agencies recognise their key role in meeting the urgent need for more new homes for children in care.
Hugh Thornbery from Action for Children says: "Over the years, our LGBT foster carers and adopters have helped to transform many children's lives. We welcome more applications from LGBT foster carers and adopters; the main thing is that you are able to give children and young people the care and support they need to be happy and fulfilled."
Andy Leary-May, Director of New Family Social, says: "More and more LGBT people are choosing adoption and fostering as a way to form a family and we want prospective parents to see just how rewarding it can be and how much advice and support is on offer from our huge community of families around the UK."
For further details of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Adoption and Fostering Week, see www.lgbtadoptfosterweek.org.uk
New Family Social is a UK network for LGBT adopters and foster carers and for those who are thinking of adopting or fostering. For more information, see www.newfamilysocial.co.uk.