Newly published data from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland shows that 1 in 8 adoptions in the country during 2022-2023 were to same-sex couples. This was an increase from 2021-2022 where the proportion was 1 in 10.
Exact figures for the country are unavailable beyond the total number of adoptions - 108 in the reporting period - but the accompanying narrative from the Department of Health says that:
'Some 75% the adopters were different sex couples who were married or in a civil partnership and 5% were different sex unmarried couples. Some 7% were same sex couples who were married or in a civil partnership and 6% were same sex unmarried couples. A further 6% were single adopters'
Northern Ireland is the first of the UK countries to publish statistics covering 2023. By contrast the remaining UK countries most recent figures showed that:
- 1 in 4 adoptions in Wales in 2022 were to same-sex couples. [Reporting period 2021-2022 / 65 out of 285 adoptions]
- 1 in 6 adoptions in England in 2022 were to same-sex couples [Reporting period 2021-2022 / 540 out of 2950 adoptions]
- 1 in 12 adoptions in Scotland in 2022 were to same-sex couples [Reporting period calendar year 2022 / 32 out of 370 adoptions]
All data published in UK countries undercounts LGBTQ+ people's involvement with adoption. This is because it focuses on the adoptive family's composition - showing whether the adoptive parent is one man/one woman/two women/two men, etc. - rather than the sexual orientation and gender identity of adopters. As a result single LGBTQ+ adopters can't be counted. Similarly invisible in statistics are bi adopters in an opposite gender relationship or trans adopters in an opposite gender relationship.
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Latest Northern Ireland statistics