Hear from LGBTQ+ adopters about how you can adopt too

Adoption Bucks, 22 March 2023 - Case studies , Events

LGBTQ+ Adoption Week is run by New Family Social, the UK’s peer-support charity for LGBTQ+ adopters and foster carers to share the power of adoption through real stories and encourage people who identify as LGBTQ+ to explore whether adoption might be for them.

Book online information event

We host online information events on the first Tuesday of each month for anyone interested in adoption to attend. Find out about the support available before, during and after you adopt, and ask any questions you may have.

Emma and Sarah who have recently adopted with the council, commented:

“Go to the open evenings, it opened up our eyes and hearts. It's a very positive experience, we came out of it knowing adoption was what we wanted to do.”

Book your place

We are seeking people from all kinds of backgrounds to come forward to care for children who need a loving and safe home.

You can build a family through adoption, no matter what your sexual orientation, relationship status, faith or ethnicity.

As long as you have a spare room and the ability to provide a safe and caring environment then we welcome your interest in adopting.

We’re really proud that last year and the year prior, in Buckinghamshire, 1 in 6 children were adopted by same-sex couples.

As well as siblings and younger children 0 to 3 years, in our experience, adopters from the LGBTQ+ community are often open to adopting children with additional needs, children from a different heritage and older children.

James and Rob's story

This was the case with one family Buckinghamshire Council helped bring together. James and Rob recently adopted Mason, who was 4 years old at the time.

What are the positives of adopting an older child?

During the transition to join his forever home it was clear that our son recognised that his life was going to be changed. As he had just turned 4 we were able to engage with him in a child appropriate way - we could play, laugh and joke together immediately. We took great solace and really helped with the attachment.

Another positive of adopting an older child is that there is more certainty regarding his health and developmental needs. Before meeting him we had a wealth of information on his needs and experiences and this allowed us to start our journey more informed and able to adapt our behaviour to support him.

What are the positives of adoption?

There are so many! However, for those starting the process I would highly recommend to take the assessment stages as a real opportunity to reflect on the sort of parent you wish to become and how you want to realise it. Once you have completed your assessment and you start your journey as a parent it will be this reflection and training that will give you the resilience you need. All the good stuff is obviously great: the laughs, the cuddles, the first time they say they love you (and your cooking!)

Adoption allows for reflection on who you are, and if adopting as part of a couple as we were, to assess your relationship in a way that no other process can. It’s that understanding as you come to grapple with key decisions on the sort of a parent you can become, along with the training focuses you and provides the strength needed for the inevitable bumps in the road.

What has been your experience of post order support?

We have engaged constructively with post order support and we have not been fearful to put our hand up when we need help. What you realise very soon after adoption is that you are now the parent, the one to make the decisions on their behalf. You will also very quickly know what the child needs and engaging with post adoption order team is something that becomes part of the process. We never felt that there wasn’t someone to talk to or discuss the issues at hand. They are there to help, and will be able to offer advice when needed.

What would you recommend to anyone that is thinking about adoption?

Before we spoke to anyone, we talked to each other about adoption - a lot. We discussed it from every angle we could imagine, both positive and negative and the impact that it would have on us, our relationship and our life. Neither wanted to push the other and so we took our time and waited nearly a year before we agreed that the time was now right. Because we did that we found Stage 1, where you are asked all those difficult questions about you, your life, and how you will cope a lot easier. We had acknowledged that life would be very different, but that it was something that we wished to pursue. Like anything in life think it through and educate yourself and if you can, enjoy it!

What do think are the benefits of adoption for you?

We got our son – someone who we can’t imagine our lives without now and whom it seems every decision revolves. Life can be hard but for us the benefits is that we get to see our little boy surprise us every day, we appreciate our life more and appreciate that our time is precious before he grows up even more. Especially as he was older when he came to us, we recognise that all those ‘firsts’ are really precious.

Are there are any networks or groups that you're part of or aware of that would be good to tap into to engage with other potential LGBTQ+ adopters?

We were lucky in that our social worker immediately made contact with another same-sex couple who were about 6+ month ahead of us in their journey to us. Meeting them and hearing their story and listening to them mention the same having very similar questions and nervousness about the process was really affirming. We were also very lucky in that we had 2 other LGBTQ+ couples in our group, whom we have kept in touch and are a great source of having a chat and compare notes a little. A lot of adopting a child is understanding that you are not the only ones to feel this way and talking it through, over a coffee, is a great way to feel like we are doing alright!

We also have been following several LGBTQ+ adopters on Instagram, and these were very helpful touchpoints on a day to day basis of the highs and lows of adopting.

Contact us

Contact us to find out more about adoption or give our adoption readiness checker a try to:

  • explore top topics
  • answer quick questions to learn more about adopting children with Buckinghamshire
  • create your personalised next steps plan

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