Same-sex couples that have been helped by Lancashire County Council and Adoption Lancashire and Blackpool to foster and adopt are supporting a campaign to encourage more people from the LGBT+ community to come forward.
Foster carer Dianne, and her partner Bev, have fostered for over eight years with the county council, and their only regret is that they didn’t do it sooner.
Having already fostered nine children ranging in age from a new-born baby to an 18-year-old, Dianne and Bev said in their video: “Just do it. We have loved every minute of it. All you need is a stable, loving home, patience, a sense of humour, and understanding.”
Now in its ninth year, LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week takes place from today, (Monday 1 March), and encourages more lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender+ people to consider adoption and fostering.
Adopters, Louise and Clare, said: “Adoption has given us the family that we always dreamed of.
“We know that we made the right choice with Adoption Lancashire and Blackpool, and we have never looked back, so much so, that we are even considering doing this again.
“There are no barriers to adoption, at all.”
This year’s campaign is called Build Your Family. It will focus on myth busting and answering common questions that are raised by the LGBT+ community when considering fostering or building their family through adoption.
In the two videos that have been filmed by the couples themselves to support the campaign, they share their experiences, and talk about the ongoing support that is available.
County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “We have many same-sex couples, or single people from the LGBT+ community in Lancashire and Blackpool who are providing stable and loving homes for children and young people who cannot live with their own families.
“We always need more foster carers and adoptive parents from all walks of life, and I want to remind people that we welcome applications from people of all ages, sexuality, gender, single, married, cohabiting, in same-sex relationships, with or without their own children, working or not.”
To be considered as foster carers, people need to be over 21, and living in or close to Lancashire. To be considered as an adopter, people need to be over 21, and living in or close to Lancashire or Blackpool.
Diane Booth, chair of the Regional Adoption Agency Board, said: “There is no such thing as a typical adopter.
“We welcome applications from people of any sexuality or gender – you don’t have to be married or have a partner either, we have lots of excellent single adopters.
“What matters is that you can open your hearts and open your homes to a child who may have not had the greatest start in life.
“The adoption process includes everyone – having children can be for everyone.”
Edwina Grant OBE, Lancashire County Council’s executive director for education and children’s services, said: “Fostering and adoption is a way for some people to have children in their lives, and importantly to make a real difference to those children.
“We have many carers and adoptive parents from the LGBT+ community who have fostered or adopted either as a couple, or alone.
“The ongoing pandemic might have changed many things, but it certainly hasn’t altered the fact that there are still children who need a family to offer them love, comfort, security and stability.
“If you are considering fostering or adoption, please get in touch with us.”
Councillor Lynn Williams, Blackpool Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “We know from experience that LGBT+ people often come to adoption and fostering with an open mind and real enthusiasm as it’s often their first choice for growing their family.
“Many of our children have had a traumatic start to life, and we’ve seen them thrive with their new parents.
“There is no typical foster carer or adopter – we need people with stability, love and resourcefulness who can help a child with whatever needs they may have.”
Videos that have been filmed by foster carers and adopters, and more information, are available at www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering and www.adoptionlancashireblackpool.org.uk. The videos will also be posted on social media.
To find out more about fostering, please get in touch on 0300 123 6723. To find out more about adoption, please get in touch on 0300 123 6727.