LGBT adopters and foster carers encouraged to come forward

LGBT Foster and Adoption Week

Nottingham City Council is looking for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people to adopt or become foster carers.

As part of LGBT Fostering and Adoption Week, the council is encouraging more same sex couples and single people from the community to come forward and help the city’s children in care.

An increasing number of LGBT families are coming forward to offer a home to a child or children who need one. In 2014, 6.7 per cent of adopters in the UK were LGBT, compared with 5.7 per cent in 2013. Between April and December last year Nottingham City Council matched 12% of children with same sex adopters it had approved – double the national figure.

This year’s campaign runs from 2-8 March 2015 and is organised by UK Charity, New Family Social to encourage LGBT people to consider adoption and fostering and to raise awareness.

Darren Fishwick, Regional Co-ordinator for New Family Social, regularly supports the council recruitment efforts. He said: “One of the biggest growths in adoption and fostering today is in LGBT applicants – the LGBT week is an important week, the fact that we have it shows how things have progressed. Children used to be one of the main things LGBT people missed out on; now it can be a reality.”

Leigh and his partner Neil live in Nottingham and know this only too well. In January 2014 they attended their first open evening run by Nottingham City Council after deciding that they wanted to have a family of their own. They said: “The open evening was relaxed, friendly and very informative. We were worried about being a same sex couple and how we would be treated. We really didn’t need to as everyone was lovely! It was at a profiling meeting where we saw the perfect child for us – we saw a photograph and a short description of the child but that was enough for us; we were completely hooked!

“If you are thinking about adopting, we would say to you go for it. We are soon to be a family with a bright and exciting future and a new chapter in our lives.”

Nottingham City Council’s fostering and adoption team is holding its monthly information event on Wednesday 11 March from 7- 9pm at Loxley House. This is open to anyone interested in finding out more about fostering or adoption with Nottingham City Council.

There will be an opportunity to find out more about the children who need families as well a chance to hear local LGBT adoptive and foster parents talk about their own experiences and give those interested information on how to start the process. To book a place please call 0115 9151234.

Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services added: “Many of our children have had a very difficult start to life, and we have seen them thrive with their new parents from the LGBT community. We need people with stability, love and resourcefulness who can help a child with whatever needs they may have. Hopefully LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week will inspire people to give a vulnerable child or children a safe, secure and loving home.”

You can read more on Leigh and Neil’s adoption story and others by clicking the link below – http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/article/28864/Adoption-real-life-stories

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