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Your LGBTQ+ adoption questions answered


This LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering week we’re answering questions about adoption from the LGBTQ+ community.

Your questions

I am gay and single. Do I need to be in a long-term relationship to be able to adopt?

You can adopt as a single person. Adoption agencies will ask about your support network. Where people are in a relationship, it needs to be an “established” relationship. We suggest that you need to have been living together for a year before you apply to adopt. If your partner does not live with you, the relationship will still be taken in to consideration during the assessment as they are likely to play an integral part in the child’s life.

My husband and I are interested in adoption but we wondered how many LGBTQ+ adoptions there are each year and how long we will have to wait for a child?

First of all, congratulations on taking the first step! One in four of our adopters are LGBTQ+  so you’re in good company!

The amount of time you wait to be matched will depend on the type of child or children you’re looking for and the needs of the children in our care at the time you apply.

Our expert matching team will work with you to find the right match for your child and your family. At Adopt Birmingham you will have one social worker throughout your adoption journey who will get to know you very well. They might even have a child in mind for you before you are approved so the process could be very quick, but it is different for everyone. Being an LGBTQ+ couple will not have an impact on how long it takes for you to be matched with a child.

I’m gender queer. Can I adopt?

Yes, you can. People who have examined their own identity and gone through the process of coming out can make amazing adopters because they can empathise with an adopted child’s sense of feeling different.

I’m bisexual and in a male/female relationship, should I pretend to be straight during the assessment process?

It is best to be as open and honest as you can be throughout your adoption assessment. We work hard to fully understand your strengths and vulnerabilities and find the right child for you and to support you throughout your adoption journey.

We’re a lesbian couple. We have heard that lesbian couples are asked about providing male role models for their adopted children. What does this mean?

Children need positive diverse role models.  Ideally your family and friends would include a range of people including people of all genders. Your social worker will talk to you about the people who are important to you to build a bigger picture of your life and support network. To help you answer questions about your support network, think about the people who are important to you and what they would bring to your child’s life.

I would like to adopt a sibling group.  Is this possible?

Yes, absolutely! Children who need to be adopted with their brother of sister often wait longer for their adoptive family through no fault of their own. There are both joys and challenges to adopting brothers and sisters.

I’m asexual in a long-term happy relationship.  We’re pretty sure we are going to face discrimination if we apply to adopt.  Should we just leave it?

Definitely not. Awareness of asexuality is growing. At Adopt Birmingham we are committed to listening to serving all members of our community equally, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity. We work hard to ensure that we listen to the experiences of everyone who uses our services and to learn from them, as well as to continue our training on LGBTQ+ issues.

Your asexuality is an important part of who you are so you shouldn’t feel like you have to hide it. Adopted children need loving, happy homes and it sounds like you could provide that.  A good agency will welcome you and assess you fairly.  Contact New Family Social if you have any difficulties and we’ll help you find the agency that is perfect for you.

What support do you offer for LGBTQ+ people who adopt with you?

As well as the lifelong support we offer to all our adopters, we also recognise the importance of peer to peer support for LGBTQ+ adopters. To ensure you get this support we will pay for your membership to New Family Social when you adopt with us. New Family Social is a UK charity and network of thousands of LGBTQ+ adopters and foster carers. They can provide you with peer support, support groups, access to publications, regional and national training.

Find out more

Do you have more questions? Are you interested in adoption but not sure where to start? No matter where you are on your journey our friendly team is here to support you. Telephone: 0121 303 7575

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