A Scottish adoption charity is to target popular LGBT nightclubs for the first time in a bid to encourage more single people to adopt and foster.
Staff from the Edinburgh-based St Andrew’s Children’s Society will join clubbers at CC Blooms in Edinburgh – where the Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus will be performing – Speakeasy in Glasgow, and Cheerz Bar in Aberdeen for information meetings next week.
Stephen Small, the charity’s director, said many LGBT people were still unaware they could adopt or foster – despite legislation being passed almost a decade ago.
Speaking ahead of 2019 LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week in the UK, which starts next Monday, Mr Small said: “Although we are seeing a steady increase in the number of same sex couples enquiring about adoption and fostering, the number of single people from the LGBT community enquiring is less.
“We believe this is partly due to some people from the LGBT community still not realising that they can now adopt or foster a child even if they are single.”
Joint adoptions by same sex couples became possible in Scotland when the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 came into force in September 2009.
Most recent National Records of Scotland show there were 30 same sex couple adoptions in Scotland in 2017, the same figure as the previous year – up from 22 in 2015.
The majority of adoptions are by male couples – in 2017 there was 23 male same sex adoptions and seven same female same sex adoptions.
It is thought one explanation for the discrepancy is that women can use sperm donors.
The total number of adoptions in Scotland was 543 in 2017, 523 in 2016 and 504 in 2015.
Marguerite Hunter Blair, chief executive of Play Scotland, welcoming the charity’s campaign, said too many children were languishing in temporary homes but acknowledged the fears single people might have about the commitment.
“Single people only have their own income so would be nervous about taking on that heavy responsibility.
“If there are two parents you feel more secure if one person is ill or loses their job.
“But so many children would benefit from an emotional connection with adults.”
“Ian”, an approved adoptive single parent with the charity, said: “Opinions were voiced about not only ‘could I adopt’ but ‘should I adopt’.
“I’m a very driven person and I try to deflect negativity so comments and opinions wouldn’t really affect me. But they may [affect] some so this is why broadening people’s minds and attitudes and raising awareness of these false perceptions is so important. Believing in yourself is key.”