All you need is love: Rise in Manchester’s LGBT adopters proves sexuality ‘not a factor’

LGBT parents in Manchester were behind nearly a quarter of the city’s adoption placements last year, according to an agency. 

Between 2013 and 2014, After Adoption placed 13% of children with LGBT parents, an impressive rise compared with the national figure of 7% for the same period.

Lynn Chartlon, chief executive at After Adoption, explained that allocating children with loving families was the agency’s main aim and that sexuality was never a determining factor.

She said: “Our priority as a voluntary adoption agency is to create happy, lasting families.

For this we need people to come forward to adopt who can provide loving, stable homes and who will commit to children for life. Sexuality isn’t a factor in that.

“People who identify as LGBT play a key role in creating these families and this year 1 in 5 of our newly approved adopters identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

But we know some people are still worried they’ll be told ‘no’, or that their sexuality will be a barrier to adoption.”

Single adoptive mother of two Kate, from Trafford, revealed to MM her experience as a member of the LGBT community when she adopted her daughters Melanie, six, and Rosie, nine.

She said: “It’s other people’s prejudices that hold us back, the children themselves aren’t prejudiced at all.

The children want love, affection, food on the table and a settled and secure lifestyle.”

The sisters’ younger brother, aged four, was adopted by Kate’s friend and all have regular contact with each other.  

She said: “One of the arguments against gay adoption was that we would make them gay just by exposure to ‘gayness’, but that doesn’t happen. My children are not gay, they are heterosexual.”

Kate explained that she also received support from LGBT family groups in Manchester like New Family Social so that her children did not feel alone in having gay adoptive parents.

“It’s the best decision I ever made and those people who are thinking about it should find out about it and go for it because they may find themselves having a wonderful family life like I have,” she added.

Seamus, a father-of-one, was 44 when he adopted his daughter Chloe who was 4 years old.

Like many adopted children, Chloe had a speech and language delay because of the minimal interaction she had with people as a toddler.

However, the single parent admitted that he cried when he first saw his daughter because he was so overwhelmed by his feelings towards her.

He said: “The agency was looking for a single male or gay couple to adopt her as her image of women was very negative.

“Lots of people think that adopting is just for straight couples who own their own homes and work. But you can be renting, unemployed, single or a couple.

“You just have to have a spare room, a good support network and really want to do it.

“Being called dad for the first time, that’s special, that’s the moment you’ve waited for.”

Married couple Sean and Dan adopted two sons, aged 10 and 11, who both attened their parents’ New Year’s Eve wedding.

Their family were involved in a study about adoptive families after adopting through the agency Families That Last.

Sean said: “The results interestingly showed that children brought up by same sex parents are more rounded, with open views of the world.

“I would tend to agree, we have always been open with the boys, friends and family and school about their adoption and to this day we have had no questions.

“We have recommended adoption to other same sex couples and we’ve become more confident with our own parenting.”

For more information about adoption visit websites Families That Last website and After Adoption.

Image courtsey of Stanley Yuu, with thanks.

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