My Thoughts on LGBTQ+ Adoption
As a social worker and a same-sex parent myself, I can guarantee that you will be warmly welcomed by Adopters for Adoption. I joined the team at Adopters for Adoption in 2017 as I wanted to work for an organisation with an inclusive attitude towards LGBTQ+ adopters (including people who are intersex or identify as queer, gender fluid or gender queer) and indeed people from all different backgrounds.
For us at Adopters for Adoption, it’s not what you are, it’s who you are – we are looking for people who are able to care for and provide a secure base for children who have experienced trauma – irrespective of their ethnicity, culture, religion, disability, relationship status, gender or sexual orientation.
I have just returned from Disneyland Paris, where Magical Pride has taken place, it was AMAZING to see so many LGBTQ+ people, including some families with children, enjoying ‘the magic’! There has been a Magical Pride event in Disneyland Paris for the last few years – an opportunity for LGBTQ + Disney fans to come together, enjoy meeting Disney characters, do the rides and party into the night (well, maybe not those who are parents of young children!)
However, I was sad to learn that a petition had been circulated on social media in advance of the event to ask for it to be cancelled due to concerns about children being exposed to LGBTQ+ sexuality. My mind then turned to the current protests in Birmingham, Manchester and other areas regarding the inclusion of same-sex families in education and it reminded me that whilst we have moved forward in so many ways, there are still obstacles to overcome.
As same-sex parents we have to be mindful that our children will encounter certain attitudes in schools and in the community. Sadly, it is something that you need to consider as you get ready to begin the adoption process: how will you prepare your child or children for the experience of homophobia; and how will you support them when they do? Having a good support network is important, your child will not only benefit from being part of a community but the practical assistance and emotional support they can offer you is vital.
But, I absolutely don’t want this blog to be all doom and gloom. In-fact, as we enter the start of Pride season, I want to celebrate the progress that has been made within the LGBTQ+ world. Since it became possible for same-sex couples to adopt, the number of approved adopters has been on the rise and according to the Department of Education: one in eight adoptions in 2018 were by same-sex couples, which is fantastic to see!
I recommend visiting the website of New Family Social, this is an organisation set up by and for LGBTQ+ adopters. There you can find research into same-sex parenting, information on legislation, loads of valuable resources and a forum where you can communicate with other adopters – just like yourselves. PLUS, if you adopt with Adopters for Adoption you will automatically be given a free membership to the New Family Social organisation!
I would also recommend reading the book, “Pride and Joy”, edited by Rachel and Sara Hagger-Holt. The book covers all aspects of LGBTQ+ parenting in the UK including: adoption; how to navigate life as an LGBTQ+ parent (“Coming out, day in, day out”); how to bring your family and friends on board; and how to maintain your LGBTQ+ identity when you become a parent. The thing I love most about this book is that it captures a wide range of perspectives and experiences of LGBTQ + parents and would-be parents.
Furthermore, if you would like to read more about one of Adopters for Adoption’s very own adopter’s experience you can visit The Unlikely Dad blog – Tom was one of Adopter’s For Adoption’s first approved adopters and it is great to read about how far he has come as a parent, including the challenges and the rewards!
All that remains is for me to wish you a happy Pride season and good luck on your journey to parenthood. We would love to see you here at Adopters for Adoption – so, if you have any questions or would like any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 5877 791 or firstname.lastname@example.org