LGBTQ+ people in Wales encouraged to consider the number of children they could adopt
LGBTQ+ people in Wales are being encouraged to consider the number of vulnerable children they could adopt in order to keep siblings together.
Led by New Family Social and supported in Wales by the National Adoption Service for Wales, LGBTQ+ Adoption Fostering Week 2023 starts today and this year’s campaign is encouraging adoption applicants to consider adopting one, two, three, or more children.
Larger sibling groups in Wales face a longer wait to find a ‘forever home’ and those over the age of three often have to wait even longer.
In 2022 there were some 7,080 looked-after children with large numbers of LGBTQ+ people adopting in Wales.
In 2016-2017, 1 in 8 adoption applications came from same-gender couples, compared to the latest figures in Wales show 1 in 4 adoption applications was from same-gender couples.
LGBTQ+ Adoption and Fostering Week is the only campaign to solely focus on LGBTQ+ potential applicants.
The collaborative regional agencies of the National Adoption Service for Wales are amongst over 100 adoption and fostering agencies across the UK supporting the 2023 campaign, where LGBTQ+ applicants can access dedicated support.
Suzanne Griffiths, Director of the National Adoption Service for Wales said: “Sibling relationships are often the most enduring and longest relationship that any of us can have.
“We know from experience and research in adoption that keeping siblings together can help to reduce trauma for children and also help many to settle into their new homes.
“We hope this week people from the LGBTQ+ community thinking about adopting will find the information being shared helpful and that it will answer some of the questions they might have about adopting a sibling group.”
Tor Docherty, New Family Social Chief Executive said: “Some children need to be cared for by themselves. Others will thrive if they can live with their siblings.
“In adoption and fostering the needs of the child and children must remain paramount – for some siblings this means staying together.”
Martyn and Lee adopted two little boys through Western Bay Adoption Service in Wales.
They said: “From our very first date we discussed having children and always thought about adoption. Martyn’s great grandmother was adopted, so he was aware of it growing up.
“We decided to adopt older children because they’re more vocal. They’re able to talk to you about their life journey and what they’ve been through.
“Our kids call us ‘Dad and Daddy’ and it’s an amazing feeling. They are so proud of us and they’ll say openly that we’re their dads, even at the supermarket to the cashier.”
The couple are aware of the longer waiting times for older sibling groups and older children and are now encouraging others from the LGBTQ+ community to consider adopting too.
They said: “Now, we are able to offer advice to those looking to adopt. We are members of support groups,
including an LGBTQ group – and support other people going through the same experience.
“We read children’s story books, which include LGBTQ parents, which helps to break down stigmas so that people understand that our family is the same as everyone else’s.”
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