Figures for LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week show record rise in same sex adoptions

1 March 2021

Today marks the start of LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering week (1st-7th March), the annual campaign run by New Family Social, the support group for LGBT+ adopters and foster carers. This year’s event comes as the number of adoptions by same sex couples continues to rise for the third year running.

Latest figures from the Department for Education (DfE) show that 1 in 6 (16.6%) adoptions in England during 2020 were to same sex couples. This equates to 570 of the total number of 3440 adoptions over the year.

When LGBT+ Adoption week started in 2012, just 1 in 22 adoptions were to same-sex couples.

Breakdown of the DfE figures:

• 170 male married same-sex couples
• 120 female married same sex couples
• 70 male civil partnership couple
• 30 female civil partnership couple
• 120 male couple/not married or civilly partnered
• 60 female couple/not married or civilly partnered *

From the earliest days of adoption in England, it has been possible for single people (regardless of sexual orientation) to adopt. Until the law changed in 2005, same sex couples could not adopt – although adoption agencies helped many couples by approving one of the couple singly.

Since that time adoption agencies have been able to openly recruit and assess lesbian and gay couples, as well as single adopters. The majority of adoption agencies now have experience of assessing, approving and placing children with LGBT +adopters and the UK is now one of the world leaders in this respect. You’ll find more information and some tips from LGBT+ adopters here.

About LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week

LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week is a unique opportunity for all of us involved in adoption to come together and encourage more LGBT+ people to consider both pathways to parenting. For more information visit the New Family Social website.

*Department for Education statistics exclude bi people not in an opposite-sex relationship, single adopters who are LGBT+ and trans people not in an opposite-sex relationship.

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