LGBT Adoption and Fostering week begins today (6 March) with a call for more people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to consider becoming foster carers or adoptive parents.
To encourage people to learn more and register an interest, Bristol City Council is holding an information event on Thursday 9 March between 6:30pm and 8:30pm at the At-Bristol Science Centre. Those attending will be able to hear the stories of LGBT+ carers, learn about the fostering and adoption process and hear about some of the children in care.
Now in its sixth year, LGBT Adoption & Fostering Week is organised by New Family Social, a charity that supports LGBT adopters and foster carers across the UK.
Across England 1 in 10 adoptions in 2016 were to same-sex couples and there are some 70,000 children are in care.
There are over 700 children in care in Bristol, the majority of them living with foster carers across the city.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Bristol needs foster carers, people who are willing and able to adopt one or more of the growing numbers of children in care and also family members prepared to care for a young relative. We’re a diverse city that encourages caregivers from a range of backgrounds and communities.
“I do understand though that for some in the LGBT+ community there is a fear that they will be discriminated against if they choose to become a foster carer or adoptive parent. I want to reassure all who choose to become caregivers that we are here to support your application and will provide you with the tools you need to provide the love and security a vulnerable young person needs to thrive.”
Martin Spellacey and Aled Osborne, co-chairs of Bristol City Council’s Rainbow Group, said: “The feedback we get from members of the LGBT+ community who foster or adopt is that caring for a child in care is one of the most rewarding experiences they have ever had. Making that decision represents an opportunity to share their love and protection with a vulnerable child in need.
“During LGBT adoption and fostering week we urge members of the LGBT+ community to consider becoming carers or adoptive parents and provide the support needed to help a child or young person fulfil their potential.”
Anyone considering becoming a foster carer or want to know more about what fostering is about should visit the council’s website at www.bristol.gov.uk/fostering.
Prospective adopters can also go online to find out more about the process and information events at www.bristol.gov.uk/adoption.
Social media users can follow the conversation at www.facebook.com/bristolfostering.
To find out more about the information event please go to www.facebook.com/events/1850791825195896/