Gay and lesbian people are being urged to learn more about adoption and fostering as part of the LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week.
The event runs between Monday 4 March – Sunday 10 March – and is organised by New Family Social, the charity run by LGBT adopters and foster carers for families and families-to-be.
The British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) says an estimated 4,000 children need adopting every year, with the Fostering Network stating that around 9,000 extra foster carers are needed to bridge the shortfall for children currently in care.
However, experts say this could be done if just two percent of LGBT people came forward to foster or adopt.
LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week is a series of events around the country aimed to educate prospective parents and carers about the processes involved and to let them hear from others in their area who have adopted or fostered children themselves.
Action for Children is the week’s main sponsor, and the charity’s Director of Public Policy, Helen Donohoe, said: “From 140 years of working with the UK’s most vulnerable children, we know how important it is to find the best possible placement for each and every child in care – and we know that LGBT people often come to adoption or fostering as the first choice for expanding their family, bringing love, real enthusiasm and resourcefulness.
“Throughout LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, our friendly approachable staff will be on hand at events across the UK to answer questions and help potential parents take the first steps towards providing one of the thousands of children desperately in need with a stable, loving home.”
Andy Leary-May, Director of New Family Social, added: “Some people are still put off by fears that they won’t be welcomed by agencies, but things are changing. In our group we have huge and diverse range of families, including plenty of parents who are single, or in their fifties. It’s clear to see how well our children are doing, and what a positive and rewarding choice fostering and adoption can be”.
LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week runs from Monday 4 March – Sunday 10 March
For information and to find an event nearby, visit lgbtadoptfosterweek.org.uk
Article: 14th February 2013 www.pinknews.co.uk