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1 in 6 adoptions in England in 2020 were to same-sex couples. But LGBT+ applicants still have an expectation of discrimination. 

News - from NFS & our agency friends

A word from...... James Lawrence, Head of Communications & Engagement

As we bow out of 2021’s Pride Month it’s worth reflecting on the achievements that make us proud. At New Family Social we’re thrilled that 1 in 6 adoptions in England in 2020 were to same-sex couples. In Wales it stands at 1 in 5. This is a testament to the hard work of many agencies across the United Kingdom.

These agencies recognise the unique skills that LGBT+ people can bring to bear when parenting. Many of these agencies hold memberships with New Family Social, giving their LGBT+ applicants and parents access to a peer group that offers advice and support. LGBT+ people still report high expectations of discrimination. When applying to adopt or foster, such networks are invaluable. Just last year 4 in 10 LGBT+ people in the adoption approval process expected their sexual orientation to be a barrier. So the success reflected in the statistics is no small feat. Our annual campaign LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week reaches millions of people through social media year-on-year, thanks to the support of agencies that lend their capacity and voice to our efforts.

We also need to thank our LGBT+ members. It’s thanks to them that our podcast Adoption, Fostering & Tea has gone from strength to strength in showcasing their stories. Whether it’s the story of someone starting their parenting journey or a charity chief executive who’s parented for years, every episode inspires someone.

However, as with the broader corporate world there’s also the opportunistic engagement with Pride. Some in our sector attempt to paint themselves as engaging with LGBT+ people, for at least some of the month’s 30 days. Oh, how we laugh!

Of course, actual engagement goes beyond sending a tweet with rainbows on – but we appreciate emoji game. Effective engagement includes consulting with LGBT+ people, recruiting them to every level within your organisation and speaking to networks like New Family Social.

Getting engagement right is far less costly to an organisation’s reputation than poorly engaging to save money and time. For example, if your organisation simply recruits one LGBT+ person to write a training programme that’s promoted during Pride month, it’s unlikely those efforts will stand up to scrutiny or lead to credible results.

It really helps if – when you say you want to hear from LGBT+ people – you return their phone calls. Train your staff to feel confident in working with LGBT+ people. Use materials that speak to all applicants – LGBT+ people shouldn’t have to look for targeted information. And refrain from blithely talking about your LGBTQ ‘brand’, when branding our community is historically offensive to some.

So farewell to another Pride Month but we’ll retain the positivity and confidence it gives us. It’s been much-needed in 2021. We’ll shake off the opportunists and soon shake hands with our staunch allies, new and old.

Barnardo's South EastBarnardo's is a member of New Family Social

1 in 6

adoptions in England in 2020 were to same-sex  couples

3 in 4

 New Family Social adopters consider adopting siblings


The total number of children in foster care in England

Looking to provide better services to LGBT+ applicants? Look no further

Smiling Social Worker

Some 60 foster agencies joined NFS in 2019. Find out why we're working together.

Rainbow painted Road

Increasing numbers of agencies turn to LGBT+ applicants. What are your options?

Girl on bench with question Mark - What is the support like in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Support from LGBT+ friendly agencies is rising across every UK country. 

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