Questions about adoption from LGBTQ+ people

Here are some questions from members of the  LGBTQ+ community about adoption that we’ve answered:

  • Q: I am gay and single. Do I need to be in a long-term relationship to be able to adopt?
  • A: No, you can adopt as a single person. Adopt South West will ask about your support network. Where people are in a relationship, it needs to be an ‘established’ relationship, which tends to mean longer than two years.


  • Q: My wife and I have just registered our interest in adoption with our local adoption agency, Adopt South West, but we wondered how many LGBTQ+ adoptions there are each year and if we might wait longer to be matched than a heterosexual couple?
  • A: About 1 in 5 adoptions in England are to LGBTQ+ people, and this is mirrored at Adopt South West, so you’re in good company!  The amount of time you wait to be matched will depend on the type of child/ren you’re looking for. Talk to other adopters to get a better idea of what you could/couldn’t cope with.


  • Q: Is the adoption process longer for LGBTQ+ adopters?
  • A: No. Some LGBTQ+ people fear discrimination when first starting their journey but they are delighted to find that they are welcomed with open arms.


  • Q: I’m gender queer. Can I adopt?
  • A: Yes you can. People who have examined their own identity and gone through the process of coming out can make awesome adopters because we have empathy with an adopted child’s sense of feeling different.


  • Q: I’m bisexual and in a male/female relationship, should I pretend to be straight during the assessment process?
  • A: Adoption assessment is best if you feel able to present your real self. Adoption agencies will want to know the real you to fully understand your strengths and vulnerabilities and find the right child for you.


  • Q: We’re a lesbian couple. We have been told we need to think about finding men who will be male role models for child/ren
  • A: Children need positive diverse role models. Ideally your support network would include a wide range of people including people of all genders. Explain to the assessing social worker about the people that are important to you and what they will bring to your child’s life.


  • Q: I’m asexual in long term happy relationship. We’re pretty sure we are going to face discrimination if we apply to adopt. Should we just leave it?
  • A: Definitely not. Awareness of asexuality is growing. Adopted children need loving, happy homes and it sounds like you could provide that.  Adopt South West will welcome you and assess you fairly. Your asexuality is an important part of who you are so you shouldn’t feel like you have to hide it.


  • Q: I would like to adopt brothers and sisters. Is this possible?
  • A: Yes absolutely!  Siblings can wait longer to be matched to an adoptive family.  There are both joys and complexities to adopting siblings and there a podcast all about it (search “Adoption, Fostering & Tea” on any podcast provider).


  • Q: What organisations support LGBT+ adoptions and are there any peer support groups?
  • A: New Family Social is a network of thousands of LGBT+ adopters and foster carers. They are really friendly and we can help you navigate the process. Or go to the You Can Adopt website that has links to all adoption agencies across England.


Further information

If you are considering adopting a child, please do contact our friendly Adopt South West team and you can find out more

LGBT+ people can also find out more about their fostering and adoption options at on the New Family Social website.