It's LGBTQ+ Adoption and Fostering Week which asks people to consider if they could grow their families by '1, 2, 3 or more?' through fostering or adoption.
One Adoption South Yorkshire and Barnsley Council’s fostering team are supporting this year’s awareness week from 6 to 12 March, organised by the national charity New Family Social.
There are many children whose lives could be transformed by an LGBTQ+ foster carer or adoptive parent. In Barnsley, there are currently eight LGBTQ+ foster carers, and one in six people approved to adopt by One Adoption South Yorkshire are LGBTQ+. However, many people still think they wouldn’t be allowed to adopt or foster because of their sexuality.
Councillor Trevor Cave, Cabinet Spokesperson for Barnsley Council’s Children’s Services, said: “We want to remind people who are thinking about growing their families that they should not rule themselves out of fostering or adoption because of their sexuality.
“There are many excellent foster carers and adoptive parents in the LGBTQ+ community across Barnsley and South Yorkshire, and we're pleased to be celebrating them this week. With increasing numbers of children needing a loving home, especially older children and siblings, it’s more important than ever to encourage LGBTQ+ families to consider this route.
“Anyone can be a great foster carer or adoptive parent - it's your personal qualities that make you a great caregiver, not your gender, relationship status or sexual orientation. So, if you think you can offer a safe and caring home to a child, we would love to hear from you.”
Stephanie Evans, Head of One Adoption South Yorkshire, added: “All people who adopt are unique and valued. We welcome applications from people of any sexuality, race or religion – 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 offer a safe, permanent, and caring home to a child who may have faced a challenging start in life.
“This year’s theme is 1,2,3 or more and here in South Yorkshire we are particularly looking for families for children who are older, those in sibling groups, and children from Black and minority ethnicities and of those with mixed heritage. Please attend one of our online information events to find out more.”
The next online adoption information events for South Yorkshire are being held on Wednesday 8 March and Wednesday 15 March and can be booked by visiting the One Adoption website: www.oneadoption.co.uk/events.
If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, please visit the fostering website or call 01226 775876.
Anyone interested in finding out about adopting can visit the One Adoption website, or call 0345 002 0012.