The last decade has seen a huge increase in fostering and adoption enquiries from members of the LGBTQ+ community in Wales.

Statistics from the Welsh Government reveal a quarter of adoptions in Wales are now by same-sex couples compared to just 1 in 10 in 2012, and LGBTQ+ fostering households have also risen; increasing by around 23% in the past year alone.

As LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week begins (4 March), the bodies representing fostering and adoption in Wales (Foster Wales, National Adoption Service for Wales) renew their encouragement for enquiries from the LGBTQ+ community to provide safe and secure homes for the 7,208 looked-after children in Wales, including around 300 of those who need adoption.

Led by New Family Social, and supported in Wales by NAS and Foster Wales, LGBTQ+ Adoption and Fostering Week challenges perceptions around adoption and fostering, and opens up honest conversations to encourage people to consider enquiring.

Martin and Josh from the Rhondda adopted through Western Bay Adoption Service (WBAS) in 2020 after meeting some of the adoption team at PRIDE Cymru in 2019. Martin said:

“I’d describe ourselves as boring gay people who sit in on a Saturday night and watch Strictly, so we’re not into the ‘gay’ scene and didn’t know any same-sex couples who had adopted.

“Adoption was something that was in the back of our mind, but it wasn’t until we met the Western Bay team at PRIDE in 2019 that the idea was cemented to undertake the journey to become parents.

“Adoption has given us the opportunity to become parents to our cheeky little boy, we’re also looking forward to extending our family through adoption once again and making our son a big brother.”

Emma and Joanna from Carmarthenshire, are both teachers, and started fostering last January. Emma explained:

“We’ve worked in different roles with children and young people for the past 20 years, and we wanted to give back to children who needed help and support. We want to try and help those children overcome what they’ve been through in the past.”

“You do worry if the child is going to settle. But you’re so keen to help them. We’ve been on loads of different adventures in the fresh air, to see what she likes. It was so great to see her enjoying and showing her parts of Wales she hadn’t seen before. She’s integrated into the family really well.”

Foster Wales and the National Adoption Service for Wales are amongst 120+ adoption and fostering agencies across the UK supporting the 2024 campaign.

This year, the week will include an information webinar featuring LGBTQ+ people from minoritised ethnic groups who’ve adopted or fostered, and free training for applicants and professionals on how to prepare LGBTQ+ people for transracial adoption or fostering.

Tor Docherty, New Family Social Chief Executive said:

“LGBTQ+ potential applicants from minoritised ethnic groups should count themselves in as potential adopters or foster carers, not rule themselves out. In an ideal world every looked-after child would find a placement with a family that shared their culture and heritage. Where this can’t happen, agencies must work hard to help LGBTQ+ applicants to understand how to meet their child’s culture and heritage needs.”

Suzanne Griffiths, Director of the National Adoption Service for Wales and Foster Wales, said:

“We aim to answer any of the questions people might have, and we are grateful to the families involved in sharing their stories as they contribute to important conversations around adoption and fostering, and help challenge outdated perceptions.

Our services are committed to supporting families at every step of their journey, offering training and support throughout. If you would like more information, or to have a chat, we’d encourage you to reach out to your local service and make an enquiry.”

You can follow LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week online and through Twitter (@lgbtadoptfoster) and Facebook (@newfamilysocial). For more information on fostering visit: / Find out more adoption in Wales: