Society’s view of same sex couples has definitely come a long way over the past decade. However, despite being more widely accepted, many same sex couples are still unsure where they stand in terms of fostering.
The foster care system has also changed dramatically over the past 10 years, though many misconceptions about who can and can’t become a foster carer remain. The simple answer to whether same sex couples can foster is a resounding yes. In fact, there’s a need for more same sex couples to come forward.
Same sex couples make excellent carers
These days the only thing that foster agencies like Heath Farm, really look out for are carers who can provide a loving and stable home environment for the children placed into their care. It’s widely acknowledged that same sex couples can make excellent carers due to a deeper understanding of children struggling with their identities.
Same sex couples are also more willing to take on a diverse range of children. They often decide to foster when they have failed to have children of their own for whatever reason. It’s surprising how many heterosexual couples go into a fostering agency with a long list of requirements, often only willing to take on babies.
As featured by the Guardian, it is thought that if only 1% of the LGBT community decided to foster, no more children would have to wait to find a home. In that same article, it highlights how the number of children being placed with same sex couples is increasing year upon year. In 2014, around 7% of children were placed with same sex couples in England, compared to a slightly lower 6% in 2013. While these figures are encouraging, it’s clear there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done to encourage same sex couples to apply.
Same sex couples have a high chance of being accepted
The problem today is that many don’t feel they will be accepted so they don’t apply. It’s a problem that’s been going on for years.
Back in 2011, a London Council joined forces with the media to urge more same sex couples to come forward. Trying to dispel the myth that gay and lesbian couples can’t foster, the council appealed for gay couples to come forward to take on children for respite care, teenagers and children with disabilities.
Children come from a wide range of backgrounds, so the foster care system also needs a diverse range of carers. Same sex couples can be particularly useful in situations where children cannot be placed into a home with either men or women due to previous abuse.
Overall you absolutely can foster if you’re in a same sex relationship. So if you haven’t applied because you feel you won’t be accepted, you’ve been sadly mistaken. Contact Heath Farm to find out more. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have and start the application process for you.