06 Mar 2018

Adult Social Care

Information event to promote LGBT adoption and fostering

An event is being held tomorrow (Wednesday, 7 March) to promote LGBT adoption and fostering and help find loving, stable homes for children in Bristol.

Potential parents will have the opportunity to speak to local LGBT adopters and foster carers and get information on the processes involved at the event, which is being held as part of LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week.

Bristol City Council is hosting the event alongside neighbouring authorities and adoption agencies to find more LGBT adopters and foster carers, who are needed to provide loving and stable homes for children in Bristol, particularly for children more than four years old and siblings groups in need of staying together.

In 2017, one in ten adoptions in England were to same-sex couples, but more than 70,000 children remain in care across the country.

Cllr Helen Godwin, Bristol City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “We know from experience that LGBT people often come to adoption and fostering with an open mind and real enthusiasm – it’s often their first choice for growing their family. Many children waiting to be adopted or fostered have had a very chaotic start to life, and we’ve seen them thrive with their new LGBT parents.

“You can be single, over 40 and you don’t need to own your own home to consider foster caring or adoption. We need people with stability, love and resourcefulness who can help a child with whatever needs they may have.”

Now in its seventh year, LGBT Adoption & Fostering Week is organised by New Family Social, a charity that supports LGBT adopters and foster carers across the UK.

This year’s LGBT Fostering Information Evening is being held at the Watershed, Bristol Harbourside, from 6pm until 8pm on Wednesday, 7 March.

Mark and his partner are Bristol City Council foster carers who attended last years LGBT Fostering and Adoption event and are now caring for siblings aged eight and six.

They said: “Each and every fostering household is different, just like every child in need of foster care is different - that’s what made us attend the LGBT Fostering Information Evening. From then on, we felt nothing but a part of the team throughout assessment and placement and now have the most amazing family unit. Being able to talk to others about the process during the event made us even more eager to embrace our journey.”

Tor Docherty, New Family Social’s Chief Executive, said: “Record numbers of LGBT people now adopt or foster. But YouGov polling shows many believe they’ll be discriminated against by agencies, with eight in ten lesbian, gay and bisexual people expecting to face barriers if they apply to become foster parents. We’re delighted that Bristol City Council is supporting the week and trying to encourage more LGBT people to explore adoption or foster caring.”

To book a place at the event, visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lgbt-and-wondering-about-adopting-or-fostering-tickets-41996798555.