Official figures from England’s Department for Education show that one in six children adopted in the last year were adopted by same-sex couples, according to GSN.
The figure shows a huge growth in the number of same-sex couples adopting children in England. In 2012, just one in 22 adoptions went to same-sex parents.
For the period from March 2019 until March 2020, 3,440 children were adopted in England, with 570 of those going to same-sex couples. The largest group among the new parents were married men, with 170 adopted children. There were 120 children adopted by married female couples, 70 adopted by male civil partners, and 30 by female civil partners. Unmarried male couples adopted 120 children and unmarried female couples adopted 60.
Experts say that these numbers don’t represent single LGBTQ+ parents who adopt, bisexual people in different-sex couples, and LGBTQ+ people who foster children. Just single parent LGBTQ+ adoptions could add another 10 percent of adoptions going to LGBTQ+ parents.
James Lawrence, from the U.K.’s charity for LGBTQ+ adopters and foster care families, New Family Social, told GSN that same-sex couples are more likely to adopt older children, groups of siblings together, and children who need more support than others. These groups traditionally don’t get adopted as often as children who are seen as “easier.”
Lawrence said that “there has been a welcome revolution in LGBT+ adoption, especially for our country’s most vulnerable children who just want a loving, sustainable home.” He added that “previously, parents who are LGBT+ would have ruled themselves out (because of discrimination), but now they are ruling themselves in.”
This is the third consecutive year that adoptions by LGBTQ+ people have increased in England.