Quelling the Myths of Gay Adoption
According to new government figures released for last year, the number of children being adopted by same-sex couples in the county of Nottinghamshire is well above the national average.
On a national level, one in 15 children are adopted by a same-sex couple, and in Derbyshire it is only one in 20. But in Nottinghamshire it was one in 9, meaning that nearly 10% of all adoptions in the county were to a gay couple.
Unfortunately, there are still many myths surrounding who can and cannot adopt a child in the UK, so while we’re at it, we might as well dispel some of those.
For example, as long as you are over 21 there is no age limit for someone to adopt a child. It also doesn’t matter if you are single, married, an unmarried couple, or in a civil partnership, you could still apply, and whether your partner, if you have one, is the same gender as you or not doesn’t affect your application.
You don’t even have to be a British citizen, but you or your partner must have lived in the UK for at least 12 months and have a permanent home in the UK, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
According to BAAF, an adoption and fostering membership association for the UK, there were more than 68,000 children in the care of local authorities in England last year. Around 800 of these children are in Nottinghamshire, and while there were only 40 adoptions for the county in 2012, 92 adoption orders were granted last year, an amazing increase of 130%.
“We have a really proactive campaign to bust the kind of myth that includes ‘lesbians and gay couples can’t adopt’, which is rubbish,” explained Kate Foale, from Nottinghamshire’s council. “We want enquiries from parents; single people can adopt, regardless of their sexual orientation.”
A 2010 study from the University of Virginia in the US, Parenting and Child Development in Adoptive Families: Does Parent Sexual Orientation Matter?, investigated whether or not a child’s development was affected by their adoptive parents being a same-sex couple rather than the more traditional heterosexual married couple.
“Our findings revealed, for the first time, that young children adopted early in life by lesbian and gay parents were as well-adjusted as those adopted by heterosexual parents,” the authors concluded.
The more people who are eligible to adopt, the higher the number of children likely to be adopted, and if the idea of adoption and fostering is to place a child in a loving home, it doesn’t matter whether that home is led by a single person, an opposite-sex couple or a same-sex couple. A child receiving the love and care they deserve is all that matters.