Wales sees ‘problematic’ tumble in LGBT+ people granted adoption orders over the same time
Coronavirus' impact on the adoption sector was clear this week with the publication of statistics for 2021. Adoptions in England fell to 2,870 in 2021, from 3,440. The number of same-sex couples adopting also fell, but the proportion of the total number remains the same, at 1 in 6.
Also this week the Welsh government released its statistics. These reveal the numbers of adoptions by same-sex couples tumbled to 35 in 2021, from 55 in 2020. The total number of adoptions in Wales in 2021 fell to 265 – from 295 in 2020. This slide disproportionately affects LGBT+ adopters. Not only was the total number of adoptions by same-sex couples in Wales the lowest in five years, the proportion dropped to 1 in 8 – where in 2020 it was 1 in 5.
Tor Docherty, Chief Executive of New Family Social said: ‘It’s reassuring to see adoption agencies in England maintaining their commitment during the pandemic to assessing and matching LGBT+ potential parents with vulnerable children.’
‘The fall in adoptions in Wales by same-sex couples in 2021 is problematic. We know some adoption agencies in the country say that 1 in 3 of their adoptive families this year are LGBT+. They are the exception to the rule, as the statistics show. New Family Social's concern is that in Wales - during the pandemic - the broadest range of potential parents weren’t recruited as adopters. It's also unclear if the pandemic led to some Welsh adoption agencies prioritising ‘traditional’ family structures and adopters - both in assessment and matching adopters with a child.’
New Family Social - the UK's charity for LGBT+ adopters and foster carers - will reach out to adoption agencies in Wales to understand why the situation changed during the pandemic.
LGBT+ people in the UK interested in adopting or fostering can find out more on the charity's website.