Recent figures published show that 1 in 6 adoptions in 2020 were to same-sex couples, the highest proportion since records began. However, new data also revealed that 37% of LGBT+ people were unsure if they were eligible to adopt.
As part of LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering week 2021, which took place between the 1 – 7 March, Adoption@Heart shared stories from some of our adopters, highlighting their journey and experiences of adoption.
New Family Social, founders of Adoption and Fostering Week, provides support to LGBT+ people going through the adoption and fostering process. It works directly with its members and agencies to find families for children in care.
The theme for the campaign was #BuildYourFamily. Below, read about how Craig and his partner, also called Craig, chose to build their family.
After considering adoption for several years, Craig and his partner started their adoption journey in 2020 with Adoption@Heart. They had previously researched surrogacy and adoption, and after seeing friends go through the adoption process, they decided it was the right option for them.
Craig said: “We looked into adoption a few years ago but felt our situation at the time wasn’t right. In 2020 we moved into our forever home and knew it was the right time to start the adoption process and become a family.
“At the start we did have worries around being a same-sex couple, adopting during a pandemic and having recently moved to a new house, but we knew that we still wanted to start the process.”
Being a same-sex couple, Craig felt that they had to do more research to find out about LGBT+ adoption, however, found New Family Social to be a massive help.
“As a same sex couple, we were a little worried about adoption and I think that’s because it was the unknown for us, and we didn’t know many gay couples that had adopted.
“When researching or trying to find material, we felt there could have been more. However, New Family social is an amazing platform which we have utilised more going through the process.
The couple started the adoption process by having an initial call with a social worker due to the regular information events being suspended at the start of the pandemic.
He said: “As there wasn’t any information events being held at the time, we had an initial phone call with a social worker who talked us through everything about the process. Funnily enough, this all happened as we sat in the car park at IKEA for the next hour – our order was late, so it was fine!
“We instantly knew we wanted to move forward with Adoption@Heart, so we were sent some forms to fill in and did this straight away.”
Throughout the adoption process, which normally takes about 6 months, Adoption@Heart support you and keep you up to date on your progress. There are two stages to the adoption approval process: Stage 1 takes around 2 months and Stage 2 takes 4 months, with the final part being where you are recommended to a panel for approval.
Craig and his partner have completed Stage 1 of the process and are currently working with the same social worker to go through Stage 2 and will soon be going to panel.
He said: “So far, the process has been very enjoyable. We are really pleased that we are still working with the same social worker from the initial call and believe part of the good experience is because of this.
“She has pushed our application forward at every opportunity and was able to put us in touch with another gay couple who have adopted to give us some insight and support. Aside from this, we have also met other lovely couples during Adoption@Heart training sessions.”
Both Craig and his partner are looking forward to being matched to child later this year and recommend adoption to those who are thinking about it.
Craig added: “If you’re considering adoption, do your research, utilise resources and go for it!
“There will be highs and lows, but your social worker and agency will be with you every step of the way. Be honest, open and transparent and focus on the outcome.
“We thought we had a good relationship before and loved each other a lot but this journey has bought us even closer and stronger than ever and we cannot wait to share that.”
Adoption@Heart is the Regional Adoption Agency for the Black Country, providing adoption services for City of Wolverhampton Council, Walsall Council, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and Sandwell Children’s Trust.
Due to Coronavirus restrictions, Adoption@Heart have moved all their information events online. The virtual information events take place every two weeks and are the perfect place for those who are ready to start their adoption journey or would like more information.
Future event dates are available here which include details on how to book your place via Eventbrite.
For more information call 01902 55 3818 or email firstname.lastname@example.org