Five facts about LGBT fostering and adoption

Same-sex couples have had the legal right to adopt since 2005 and the number of children adopted by same-sex parents is growing every year. Read our five facts about LGBT adoption.

1. It's definitely a thing

According to the Department of Education, one in eight adoptions in the UK were by same-sex couples in 2018 to parents either in same-sex relationships, a civil partnership, or a same-sex marriage. As Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson said, “what matters in adoptive and foster parenting is not what type of people they are but their ability to open up their hearts and their homes to children in need”.

2. In fact, it's more common than ever

It’s now 14 years since the Adoption and Children Act gave LGBT adopters the same legal rights as heterosexuals. Since then, the number of children adopted by LGBT parents has grown year on year. In the year ending 31 March 2018, there were 495 adoptions by same-sex couples in England and Wales. Last year, at Coram, one in four children were matched and placed with loving same-sex parents.

3. Unexpected joy

Despite the law, some people still think being gay means you can’t be parents. CoramBAAF research from 2013 showed that while most heterosexual couples expected to become parents as a matter of course, this was less frequently the case for same-sex couples. This was particularly true of gay dads, many of whom thought their sexual identity was incompatible with parenthood – despite having always felt paternal. 

4. The kids are all right

Fears that children adopted by same-sex couples would face bullying and that their own gender identities might be affected are largely unfounded. In fact, studies suggest that same sex families are thriving – they score particularly well in assessments of family relationships, parental wellbeing and child adjustment.

5. Healthy family ties

Parent-child relationships are typically just as strong in same-sex couples as in heterosexual ones. Research published by CoramBAAF actually suggests that gay fathers show greater levels of interaction with their child than other types of parents. 

Useful links

The CoramBAAF Bookshop has a range of books for parents and children, which focus on lesbian and gay fostering and adoption. 

Books supporting LGBT adopters & foster carers