The latest data from the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board (the ASGLB), published last week, has shown a decline in the number of adoptions since 2015, with children waiting longer to be placed with a family. But as we mark LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week from the 7 to 11 of March, it’s time to celebrate the wonderful LGBT+ adopters who are giving children all the love and stability they need to thrive.

James* and Liam*, who adopted their little girl Charlotte* with Coram, said: “A large part of us choosing Coram was the clear support for LGBT+ adopters, their professionalism and the support network they have in place for people.

“Our lives have changed in every way for the better. You think you can anticipate how you will feel but it’s overwhelming how much love and joy a child brings to your life. Adopting a child is a life-changing experience, it’s important to go into it with your eyes fully open, but it is also without a doubt the best decision we ever made.”

Coram was one of the early pioneers of LGBT+ adoption and in 2021, 17% of children placed for adoption through Coram were matched and placed with same-sex couples.

Sue Lowndes, Managing Director of Coram Ambitious for Adoption, said: “We’re proud to have supported many LGBT+ individuals and couples on their adoption journey over the years and to see children thrive in their care.

“We still need more prospective adopters to come forward for the children waiting, particularly those who often wait longest for a family, including older children, sibling groups and those with some additional needs. If you are able to provide a safe, secure and loving family for a child, we’d urge you to get in touch to find out more about the process and how we can support you.”

Coram has also pioneered Adoption Activity Days (AADs) that bring prospective adopters together with children awaiting adoption to see whether there might be a connection. The events have been running for 10 years and have secured matches for over 1,400 children, 1 in 4 children attending the events.

AADs provide approved adopters with the opportunity to meet and engage with a child beyond their written profile and broaden their perspective on the type of child they’d like to adopt. Some adopters have had gone onto adopt a sibling group when previously they had only considered a single child, while others have adopted older children despite thinking they wanted a baby.

Philip* and his partner met their four-year-old son Charlie* at an AAD: “The minute we walked into the playground and saw this little lad’s beaming smile asking if we’d play on his football team we knew it was going to be a special day! We also got to spend time with the social worker and the foster carer, which really helped in knowing we were a good match to support our son’s needs. After 3 hours of fun, games and a magic show a fellow adopter said, “You do know he’s chosen you, don’t you?” We knew straight away we’d found our son, or rather he’d found us.”

Philip added: “We cannot recommend Adoption Activity Days highly enough. We would have to say they have been the most rewarding route in the whole adoption journey for us as you get to spend quality time with the children involved and the chance of a magical connection. The themed days are well run and a real joy to attend. You cannot get the amazing feeling we got when we met our future son from a profile, a few paragraphs and a photograph.”

Sally Beaumont, Activity Days service manager at Coram, said: “We are delighted to welcome LGBT adopters to Coram’s Adoption Activity Days across the country and we are proud to have helped so many adopters from the LGBT community to be matched with children waiting for a family”.

Anyone interested in adoption can start by making an enquiry or coming along to one of Coram’s free monthly online adoption information sessions. The next sessions take place on 8 March and 12 April. Approved adopters can find out more about Coram Adoption Activity Days at www.coram.org.uk/activity-days.

*All names have been changed.

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