I have worked with many a social worker who has personally believed that outcomes for children are greatly affected by same-sex parenting and have therefore avoided the route of pursuing gay adoption as best they could
When compared to teens of the same age, adolescents raised by lesbian parents are doing just fine socially, psychologically and academically, new research finds. Not only that, they have fewer social problems, and less aggressive and rule-breaking behaviors than other teens.
Since its launch in 1997 by the BAAF, NAW has grown and become stronger each year, reaching people across the UK wanting to know if they are eligible for adoption.
Events are being organised across the UK as part of the country’s first-ever LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week. It comes as gay adopters and foster carers are being hailed by social workers for their significant strengths in a survey commissioned by New Family Social, the LGBT network coordinating the week.
Identity – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender
Our organisational approach
All projects are expected to take account of both the equality scheme and the equality and diversity policy. These set out the ways we expect teams to promote equality and diversity in their day-to-day work and planning.
There is a lot of good practice in projects relating to diversity, and this is supported by ongoing learning and development opportunities to raise awareness of issues concerning sexual orientation and gender identity.
For example, we have run two LGBT conferences in the last two years. In our latest one, we formed a partnership with an organisation called Gendered Intelligence, who ran a workshop for participants, but also undertook a performance piece written and produced by LGBT young people, called 'Brief Encounters'. The education pack that came with this drama project has been made available as a resource for all projects.
Case study - Adoption services, Kent
Anne and Karen, a lesbian couple:
"Once we had decided to adopt we contacted Action for Children who welcomed us. There were many home visits, visits with friends and relatives, copious amounts of paperwork and a three-day training course, where we met other couples hoping to adopt. This whole experience was very positive and during the process we made friends with other prospective adopters. At no time were we ever made to feel different from anybody else.
"About two years on from our initial enquiry we went in front of a panel of professionals who were to make a decision on whether we would be able to adopt. We passed and were very excited as we began to look through adoption magazines and newspapers.
"As we both have experience as teachers, we were interested in adopting one or two boys with more challenging behaviour, especially those that were slightly older as these are often harder to place. We had very mixed experiences with social workers at this stage, some of which showed intolerance or negativity due to our gender or sexual orientation. Eventually, though, the social workers of two boys contacted Action for Children enquiring about us. They visited us and it was immediately apparent that they were seriously interested in us as prospective parents.
"The next step was to prepare the boys, which was done by their social workers, while we put together a book all about our family. Once all the preparation had been done, we spent two weeks getting to know them and at the end of the two weeks they came to live with us. This was the end of what, at times, had seemed like an impossible task, but the beginning of what has so far been an amazing journey for all of us.
"Throughout our experience the social workers and staff from Action for Children were hugely supportive and we will always be grateful to them. We would also like to encourage anyone seriously interested in becoming adoptive parents to persevere - it will at times seem like a long, drawn-out process but one that is so definitely worth it in the end."
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