Here at NFA, we have a number of gay and lesbian foster carers approved by us, providing safe and nurturing homes to children that need them. Research published in 2014 by Action for Children found that one in three (32 percent) of the UK population believes that you’re unable to foster children if you’re gay, but that simply isn’t the case.
In fact, since adoption rules changed in 2006 so that same-sex couples are able to adopt children under the names of both individuals, the number of foster carers and adopters from the LGB community has been growing. However, there’s certainly need for even more LGB foster carers and whether you’re single or part of a couple, your sexuality should be no barrier to becoming a foster parent.
Gay and Lesbian Foster Carers: Myths Busted
An ideal foster carer is one that has the space and capacity to care for a child or children. As we explored in our recent blog post about single foster carers, it doesn’t matter whether foster carers are single or part of a couple.
The sexuality or gender of foster carers is irrelevant to an application and all potential carers are subject to the same vetting and questions, some of which may feel invasive. If you would like to foster as part of a couple and are in a fairly new relationship, you may be advised to wait and apply at a later date simply because relationships can develop and change over time.
Because children entering into foster care have often experienced periods of instability or sudden change, it’s important that foster carers are able to give them a stable and caring home and to provide children with a room of their own. If you or your partner work full time, that doesn’t out rule caring as an option either – you could still be able to offer extremely valuable respite foster care. So, explore your options fully and actively ask questions if you think fostering is something you might find rewarding.
Support and information for LGB foster carers
Extra support is available to all NFA foster carers 24/7, so if you ever need a second opinion or help and advice, it’s on hand. The New Family Social network also provides information and backing for LGB foster carers and adopters and actively talks about the unique strengths and qualities LGB individuals and couples are able to bring when caring for foster children. As part of this, they now run an annual LGBT adoption & fostering week.
Fostering gives immense satisfaction but it’s not without its challenges and as an LGB foster carer, you may at times face questions from intrigued children or adults. As well as offering support and training, we can put you in touch with other LGB carers so that you can discuss experiences. Foster families come in so many different shapes and sizes, so if you think you can offer a child a loving home please do get in touch.
If you’re an LGB individual or couple that is considering fostering a child with NFA, you can find out more by calling us on 0845 200 4040 or completing our online enquiry form. Please feel free to ask absolutely any questions that you may have – we are always pleased to help.