Sexuality is seen as a barrier to becoming parents by one in three (36 per cent) gay people – rising to one in two (53 per cent) in Scotland, according to new research published by Action for Children and New Family Social.
The survey of 400 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) parents and people who are considering fostering and adoption in the UK, also reveals that one in four (25 per cent) were told that they should not be a parent - often by their own family.
The findings mark the launch of New Family Social’s LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week (3-9 March), as the two charities partner to dispel the myths within the gay community and the general public. Other Action for Children research shows one in three (32 per cent) of the general UK population believe that being gay means you are unable to foster children.
Jacob Tas, interim chief executive of Action for Children, said: “Being a good parent has nothing to do with being gay or straight. Right now there are more than 6,000 children waiting to be adopted and an urgent need to find 8,600 foster families. We run fostering and adoption services and help children achieve their dreams of having families.”
Tor Docherty, director of New Family Social said: “If just one per cent of the LGBT community adopt or foster, this could plug the gap and ensure every child in the country has a loving home.”
Joe Smith, 39, and Michael Blair, 47, from Kent, adopted a three-year-old boy in 2012. “When we told our friends and family that we were going to adopt, quite a few of them were surprised and several actually commented saying ‘oh they are letting you have children.
“We truly believed that we would be the last couple to get a child. This was completely incorrect and if we hadn’t researched further into adoption we would still be waiting to become Daddy Mike and Daddy Joe to Archie.”