Same-sex couples lead in adoption boom

One in 12 adoptions in England now are now by same-sex couples, reports say, despite couples being deterred from adopting more than one child.

The figures published by the Department for Education show a boom in adoptions by same-sex couples.

In 2011, just 3.27 per cent of adoptions in England were made by LGBT people, but that has now risen to 8.44 per cent since 2015.

Scotland and Wales have also experienced record rates in LGBT adoption.

“It’s key in every adoption case that the needs of the child are paramount throughout”, said Tor Docherty of adoption charity New Family Social (NFS).

“It’s fantastic that adoption agencies increasingly recognise the skills that LGBT people can bring as parents to meet those children’s needs.”

However, research by NFS has found that same-sex couples are often being deterred from adopting more than one child.

In the report, three in four LGBT people said that they actively considered adopting siblings, but the vast majority of them were paired with a single child, or told that there is no appropriate match available.

A call to action by Strength in Numbers has asked for an improved procedure for LGBT adopters who express an interest in adopting a sibling group.

Ms Docherty said: “Adopters willing and able to parent sibling groups are a precious resource, but many LGBT people keen to do so are being matched with single children first. This fails those vulnerable children in sibling groups, as they wait unnecessarily for a match and are often then split up to make quicker matches with different families. 1 in 12 adoptions in England are now to same-sex couples, but even more children could find the home they need if sibling groups are treated as a priority for all approved adopters seeking to adopt them”.

5,330 children were adopted during the year ending 31 March 2015, but a total of 69,540 were still in care.

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Alison Green
Alison joined Mackrell Turner Garrett in 1989 and qualified as a solicitor in 1991, becoming a partner in the firm in 2010.