LGBT adopters and foster carers needed in Bridgend
06 March 2017
A campaign which encourages lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) to consider making a positive difference to local children is being backed by Bridgend County Borough Council.
The annual LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week campaign (6-12 March) aims to decrease the deficitof adopters and foster carers in the UK, and raise awareness of LGBT families.
Across Bridgend County Borough, more LGBT adopters and foster cares are needed to provide loving, stable homes for children, particularly for those over four years old and sibling groups.
With the 12th anniversary loomingof when the law changed, allowing same-sex couples to adopt, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is being urged to fill the gap.
According to the Fostering Network, around 500 extra foster carers are needed in Wales to bridge the shortfall for children currently in care.
During 2015/2016, 20 children were adopted by same-sex couples, which only represents six per cent of all the children adopted that year. During the same time period, there was also a thirty three per cent decrease in the number of LGBT people who adopted.
A YouGov polling reveals that the main reason for this is that many believe they’ll be discriminated against by local authorities and agencies, with eight in ten lesbian, gay and bisexual people expecting to face barriers if they apply to become foster parents.
However, neither sexual orientation nor marital status is important when being assessed to adopt or foster – ultimately, it’s a person’s ability to provide a loving home!
Leading charities believe the shortage could disappear if just two per cent of the LGBT community chose to adopt or foster.
Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, Councillor Phil White, said: “We continue to have a shortage of foster carers and adopters, so LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week is a great opportunity to raise awareness of this.
“It also enables us to dispel myths and reinforce that LGBT people possess the unique strengths and qualities required to adopt or foster. You can be single, over 40 and you don’t need to own your own house. We need people with stability, love and resourcefulness who can help a child with whatever needs they may have.
“LGBT people make great parents and there are so many children waiting for a loving home, either temporary or permanent. If you would like to take the first step towards parenthood or if you have any questions about becoming a family, pick up a phone and learn as much as you can. There are so many children in need of loving caring and forever families. It's absolutely vital that every child gets the best chance."
LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week is run by New Family Social, the network for LGBT adoption and foster families.
For further information contact Bridgend Foster Care on (01656) 642674 or Western Bay Adoption Service on 0300 365 2222.