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LGBT couples adopting “hard to place” children

A growing group of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people are adopting “hard to place” children. Finding permanent homes for children within this group – including sibling groups, disabled or older children, children from ethnic minorities, and those with behavioural issues or complex needs – has historically been a challenge. But with more LGBT couples eager to adopt, it appears that many choose children who might not have been placed elsewhere.

According to Tor Docherty, chief executive of New Family Social (NFS), an adoption charity in the UK, the national database of children waiting to be adopted and parents waiting to adopt shows that more LGBT couples are willing to adopt harder to place children. Docherty surmises that because adoption is often the first route to parenthood for some LGBT couples, they may have a different set of expectations and may be more flexible and open to children with challenges. Iain McNulty-Ringshaw, founder of New Family Social, and father of two adopted male siblings with his partner David, believes that LGBT adoptive parents have a greater sense of empathy for children who are seen as “different” in society. McNulty-Ringshaw says that as long as adoptive parents anticipate that some difficulties might arise (e.g., attachment issues if a child had traumatic early years), and seek support when they need it, there can be positive outcomes for the entire family.

Initiatives are being aimed at capitalizing on the interest in adoption from the LGBT community, and recruiting and supporting same-sex couples who are willing to care for hard to place children. Given that research has shown that children adopted by same-sex parents thrive and do as well as those in heterosexual families, there is good reason to encourage more LGBT couples to adopt.

Read more about LGBT parenthood options here.

Read more about adoption here.

Read more here.

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