There is a real need for more LGBT people to adopt or foster children in Wales, Minister for Children and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies said today.
To mark LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week (5th-11th March), the Minister said Wales needs more prospective adoptive families to care for the 140 children who are currently waiting for an adoptive family.
Adoptions by same-sex couples have been allowed in England and Wales since 2005, and in 2016-17 one in eight adoptions in Wales were with same-sex couples.
Nearly 6,000 children in Wales were looked-after in 2017. But 140 children are currently waiting to be adopted, while 4,435 children are in foster care.
Of the children waiting to be placed for adoption, 6 in 10 are part of a sibling group, which means there is a particular need for prospective adoptive parents who are prepared to adopt a group of children. Similarly, there are children with additional health and developmental needs who need to be adopted. There is also a need for more local authority foster carers as many foster carers approach retirement (the average age of foster carers is 55).
Minister for Children and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies said: “Adopting or fostering a child can be an incredibly rewarding experience. The responsibility for raising a child is considerable, but the reward of seeing a child grow up and achieve their true potential is such an incredible experience.
“1 in 8 adoptions in Wales during 2016-17 were to same-sex couples, but I want to encourage more LGBT people to consider adopting or fostering children.
“It is an exciting time to become a foster carer in Wales. Implementation of the National Fostering Framework will ensure that all foster carers in Wales are properly supported and rewarded to provide the best possible care for the children and young people in their care.
“So if you are willing and able to give your time, commitment and dedication to giving vulnerable children the best start in life, please consider adoption or fostering.”