LGBT+ people across the South West are being urged to explore adoption as a potential parenting route as a part of a national campaign launched this week.

With 80,000 children in care in 2020 in England alone, LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week, which runs from March 1 to March 7, brings together local adoption agencies and potential new LGBT+ adoptive families.

The campaign is led by LGBT+ focused agency New Family Social, with support from Devon-based adoption charity Families for Children.

Families for Children, who also support couples in Dorset, ran a hugely successful campaign last year in encouraging LGBT+ people to come forward to adopt.

Ruth Marriott, Families for Children CEO says, “We have seen a fantastic rise in the number of LGBT+ people making enquiries to adopt with us in the last year.

“Being part of the LGBT+ community is not a barrier to being considered as an adopter. Families for Children welcome all potential adopters, regardless of sexual orientation or marital status.

“We know that many people from the LGBT+ community, as a result of their own experiences, possess key skills like patience, resilience and strength, which will help you understand and parent the children waiting for adopted families.”

The campaign resulted in an increase in LGBT+ adopters being approved by them to one in three adopters. They want to continue their success in supporting LGBT+ people in their decision to build a family through adoption.

Joe and Reece, who adopted a sibling group of three through Families for Children, said: “Adoption for us has been a life changing experience so much so that we want to do it again.

“We do know as we get older there will be different challenges that will come up and certain situations, but the main thing is we have the support from our adoption agency, our families and friends and other adoptive families.

“You know you’re not alone and that’s the fundamental thing for us, especially adopting a sibling group.”

Tor Docherty, New Family Social Chief Executive added: “Record numbers of LGBT+ people now adopt or foster.

“The urgent need for more to do so hasn’t disappeared in the pandemic. The assessment process can still take place, despite lockdown and restrictions.

“If you’re LGBT+ it’s as good a time as any to find out how you can build your family through adoption or fostering.”