Out of the 60,900 children in care, there were 3,700 adoptions last year of which 185 were by gay couples. Stonewall, the lobby group which campaigns for equality for gay, lesbian and bisexual people, said the adoption figure for gay couples amounted to four per cent of all adoptions.
Alan Wardle, the director of public affairs, said: “Given that the percentage of people in the population said to be gay, according to Government actuaries, is five per cent, this would suggest that gays are not given some sort of preference over heterosexuals wanting to adopt, as some people claim.”The truth is that gay couples often adopt children who are ‘hard to place’ — older children with physical disabilities or mental health problems and certain emotional needs, when other couples want younger children in perfect health.”Homosexual couples follow the same route into adoption as heterosexual ones — applying to an adoption agency or local authority in the first instance.
Related Articles Blair retreats over church opt-out for gay adoption 25 Jan 2007Some local authorities in London use the gay press to appeal to homosexual couples to come forward if they feel they would have more success in placing a child this way.While there has never been a law preventing homosexual individuals from adopting, it was not until 2005 that same sex couples wishing to adopt could apply for “joint adoption”.
Mr Wardle said: “Before that a gay single person could adopt. In terms of discussions with social services, their sexual orientation may have come up as part of a discussion but it was never formally noted.”Now, when people say gay couples are given preference in the adoption procedure and heterosexuals are bumped down the queue, all I can say is I have never seen or heard the actual evidence.”If a gay couple’s initial assessment is favourable, their application is referred to the adoption panel.
If they are approved by the panel a child may be placed with them and an application can be made to the court for an adoption order.Stonewall said it was not aware of any local authorities that refused to consider applications from lesbians and gay men, although adoption agencies were able to do so.
A spokesman for Adoption UK said that while there were some things which might make the process more difficult, adoption by heterosexual and gay people and couples should be treated similarly by all adoption agencies.”
Recent research indicates that gay adopters do a very good job of parenting and that they have as much as anyone else to offer adopted children. You should not expect to face any discrimination because of your sexuality.”There are adoption barriers surrounding religion and fertility treatment for couples — gay or heterosexual.A person’s religion may exclude them from being considered for some children, usually where the birth parent has expressed a desire for them to be brought up in a particular faith.
Source: Gay parents – Telegraph