A single mum from West Sussex has spoken about her journey to adoption ahead of national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) Adoption and Fostering Week.
The latest statistics from the Department of Education show that one in 10 children are adopted by same-sex couples which has increased from 5.7 percent to 9.9 percent over the last five years. There has been a similar rise to this in West Sussex, with around 20 percent of approved adopters since January 2016 being LGBT.
West Sussex adopter, Jo, thought nothing about being gay when she started her journey to adoption: “It didn’t even cross my mind to worry about applying to adopt, I more worried about the fact that I was single. I have never experienced any negativity from people as an LGBT adopter and I have always been open and honest with people which I am sure helps.
“Support from friends and family is vital both during and after adoption. I would encourage people considering adoption to think about their support groups and whether these include people with young children too.”
Jo, who has successfully adopted two children, describes it as an ‘amazing experience’ and encourages new adopters to find their local support groups and networks. She continued: “Children who are adopted have often experienced trauma and can display challenging behaviour – but at the end of the day, you are a parent just like any other parent and you will have good days and bad. I wouldn’t change it for the world!”
National LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week runs from 5 to 11 March and people of all sexualities are encouraged to attend a local information event and find out more.
The Fostering Team will be holding a drop-in information session on Wednesday 7 March from 9.30am to 1.30pm at Chichester Library and the Adoption Team will be holding an event on 7 March from 6pm to 9pm at The Ropetackle, in Shoreham.
To find out more about fostering and adopting in West Sussex, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/ and search for adoption and fostering. Or to find out more about the week, visit www.lgbtadoptfosterweek.org.uk