The English County of Cornwall is actively seeking lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals to become foster or adoptive parents and provide a home for children in the district.
Cornwall Council is hosting an information event Tuesday to spread the message that potential LGBT parents are needed to meet the shortfall of homes available for children. More than 20 events are being held this week across Great Britain and Northern Ireland as part of the National LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week.
Cornwall has a history of lesbian and gay couples becoming foster and adoptive parents. In a statement, Head of Children’s Social Work Services in the region, Jack Cordery, outlined the belief that discrimination should play no part in the selection process for adoption.
“What is crucial for a child’s happiness is the ability of their parents and carers to make secure, nurturing attachments, not their sexual orientation,” he said. “Long gone and good riddance to the days when a child was deprived of that happiness because of prejudice and discrimination.”
Kerry and Joanne, who can’t be further identified for confidentiality reasons, are going through the stages of adopting a second child.
“The process of becoming adoptive parents is necessarily thorough, but the team in Cornwall approach it in a friendly and pragmatic manner,” said the couple in a statement. “It can’t have been too painful as we’ve just done it all for a second time and look forward to our family expanding in the near future!”
Same-sex couples have been allowed to adopt children in the UK since 2005. They will be entitled to marry under the proposed Marriage Bill currently being debated.
However, there is not universal support for LGBT parenting within the British government. One minister claimed that gay couples could not provide a “warm and safe” environment for raising children.
This comment comes despite the fact that official government sources have stressed the need for LGBT parents, according to BBC News. They report that about 4,000 children nationally need adopting every year and around 9,000 foster parents must be found. The government added that if just 2% of LGBT people considered adopting or fostering, that shortfall could be bridged.