I don’t have adopted children and I’m not a foster carer. I wasn’t adopted or fostered myself. Oh, and I’m not gay.
But that doesn’t stop me really caring about adoption and fostering and wanting to support LGBT Adoption & Fostering Week (3rd-9th March 2014), organised by New Family Social, the UK charity for LGBT adoptive and foster families. Promoting fostering and adoption has been a big part of my job for the last 15 years and the fact that I won’t be doing that job any more in a few weeks doesn’t change the fact that it’s something I’m passionate about.
Apparently more than a third of LGBT people believe their sexuality is a barrier to becoming a parent. Which is a real shame. Most councils welcome LGBT people – whether singles or couples – as adopters and foster carers. With more than 6,000 children nationally waiting for an adoptive home and 8,600 foster families needed nationally this year alone, LGBT people can make a really valuable contribution to some of the most vulnerable children out there.
Which is why I was REALLY FLIPPING WOUND UP when our local radio station talked about LGBT Adoption & Fostering Week by talking to one of the most bigoted women I have ever had the misfortune to hear on the radio.
According to her, children do best with a mother AND a father. Not two mums, not two dads, not a single parent, not a parent and a step-parent. So I guess a child is better off with married parents where there is domestic violence, drugs or neglect in the home than two loving mums or dads?
I think we all know this is complete nonsense.
According to this woman, with ‘only’ 6,000 children nationally needing adoptive homes, it should be easy to find them homes with nice, straight, married couples. I’m assuming this woman has never tried to place a child for adoption because, sadly, finding homes for many children isn’t easy – they’re not all blonde, well-behaved 2 year old girls. They have problems. They have disabilities. They come from all races and backgrounds. They need to be adopted with their brothers and sisters. They are aged 7, 8 or 9.
Sadly, people aren’t rushing forward to adopt children like these.
But they all have the right to a loving home with loving parents.
The parents might be gay, straight, single, married or in a relationship. Families come in all come forms – gay families are good, as are single parents, unmarried couples and married couples. Oh, and they can all be bad too. Married, single, gay, straight – this is not how parents are selected. They are selected and matched with a child based on what they can offer the child in terms of a loving home.
As one little boy with two dads said: “I’ve got two dads because I’m lucky”.
If you want to find out more about adoption or fostering, get in touch with your local council.
This is not a sponsored post, it is just something I’m passionate about.