Several countries allow same-sex adoptions
Statistics on UK adoptions
How many LGBT people are parents?
The official government estimate is that in the UK in 2013 there were around 20,000 dependent children living in same-sex couple families. Common Law marriage and Cohabitation report, p.5
How many children have been adopted by LGBT people in Britain?
As of 8 December 2016, there had been 2,317 adoptions by LGBT people in Great Britain since reporting began. However, these official statistics exclude:
- the sexual orientation or gender identity of single adopters
- bisexual people not in a same-sex relationship
- trans people – unless they are part of a same-sex couple
Below is a summary of the total number of adoptions by country to adopters either in same-sex relationships, a civil partnership, or a same-sex marriage.
|Total adoptions across the UK by same-sex couples||2317|
Fostering in Britain
9,070 fostering families are needed across the UK in 2016. The need is for 7,600 foster families in England, 800 in Scotland, 500 in Wales, and 170 in Northern Ireland.
Source: The Fostering Network.
There is no monitoring of the number of LGBT foster carers in England, Scotland or Wales.
Adoptions by same-sex couples in England, Scotland and Wales – 2015/2016
This data will be included here once published.
Between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016:
- In Wales there were 20 children adopted by same-sex couples. There were 10 adoptions to male same-sex couples who were married or in civil partnerships and 5 adoptions to male couples who were neither married or in a civil partnership. There were 5 adoptions to female same-sex couples who were either married or in a civil partnership. Adoptions by same-sex couples in Wales in 2016 accounted for 5.9 per cent of all adoptions that year.
- In England there were 450 children adopted by same-sex couples. There were 180 adoptions by same-sex couples who were neither in a civil partnership or married. Civil partnership couples accounted for 200 adoptions. Married female same-sex couples accounted for 30 adoptions in England and married male same-sex couples accounted for 40 adoptions.
Adoptions by same-sex couples in England, Scotland, Wales – 2014/15
Between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015:
- In England there were 450 children adopted by same-sex couples. There were 160 adoptions by same-sex couples, not in a civil partnership or marriage. 260 adoptions were to same-sex couples in a civil partnership. There were ten adoptions to female same-sex married couples and 20 to male same-sex married couples. Adoptions by same-sex couples accounted for 8.4 per cent of all adoptions in 2014/15, an increase from 6.7 per cent of all adoptions in 2013/14.
- In Wales there were 30 adoptions by same-sex couples. Fifteen of these were by male same-sex couples in a civil partnership or marriage. Five were by male same-sex couples not in a civil partnership or marriage. There were 10 adoptions by female same-sex couples in this period. The 30 adoptions account for 7.8 per cent of all adoptions in this period in Wales. In the 2013/14 period adoptions by same-sex couples accounted for 7.2 per cent of all adoptions in Wales. For more information visit the Stats Wales website.
- In Scotland there were 22 adoptions by same-sex couples. Eleven of these were to female same-sex couples and eleven to male same-sex couples. The 22 adoptions account for 4.36 per cent of all adoptions in Scotland in this period. In the 2014/15 period adoptions by same-sex couples accounted for 3.7 per cent of all adoptions in Scotland. For more information visit the National Records of Scotland website.
How many LGBT people have been approved to adopt?
In England between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014, 935 people who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual were approved to adopt. Of these:
- 365 identify as lesbian
- 560 identify as gay
- 10 identify as bisexual.
Gender identity isn’t covered in these statistics. For a more detailed breakdown visit the gov.uk website.
How many LGBT people in my area were approved to adopt last year? How many have started placements with a child/children?
|Region||Number of people who identify as lesbian who were approved to adopt in 2013-14 / number where adoption placements had started||Number of people who identify as gay approved to adopt in 2013/14/ number where adoption placements had started||Number of people who identify as bisexual approved to adopt in 2013/14|
|North East||25 / 20||20 / 15||0 / 0|
|North West||80 / 30||90 / 25||0 / 0|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||30 / 15||30 / 20||0 / 0|
|East Midlands||25 / 20||40 / 30||0 / 0|
|West Midlands||35 / 20||40 / 20||0 / 0|
|East of England||25 / 15||30 / 10||5 / 5|
|London||35 / 15||110 / 45||5 / 5|
|South East||50 / 35||65 / 30||5/ 5|
|South West||20 / 15||45 / 25||5 / 5|
NB: For data protection and disclosure purposes, Ofsted round figures up to the nearest five (one to four have all been rounded up to five). Totals have been rounded up to five to allow maximum use of agency level data with the minimum risk of disclosure. This means that some totals do not match exactly with secondary breakdowns, however, the impact on percentages has been minimal. The purpose of the rounding is to ensure non-disclosure of sensitive data whilst maintaining its usefulness.
Percentage of orders made for placement with same-sex couple adopters. “One” means one-child-adopted. If one couple takes three children they would count as three adoptions.
Please note that the following groups are not included in these statistics:
- lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans single people.
- bisexual people who are not in a same-sex relationship
- trans people unless they are part of a same-sex couple
- 2014 – 340 children adopted by same-sex couples out of 5,050 adoptions (6.7%)
- 2013 – 230 out of 4,010 (5.7%)
- 2012 – 160 out of 3,470 (4.6%)
- 2011 – 100 out of 3,100 (3.2%)
- 2010 – 120 out of 3,180 (3.8%)
- 2009 – 120 out of 3,270 (3.7%)
- 2008 – 80 out of 3,170 (2.5%)
- 2007 – 90 out of 3,290 (2.7%)
TOTAL – 1,240 children adopted by same-sex couples in England since 2007. (Source)
- 2014 – 20 children adopted by same sex couples out of 345 adoptions (5.8%)
- 2013 – 15 out of 330 (4.5%)
- 2012 – 5 out of 245 (2%)
- 2011 – 0 out of 255 (0%)
- 2010 – 5 out of 230 (2.2%)
- 2009 and before – none.
TOTAL for Wales – 45 children adopted by same-sex couples since 2010. (Source)
- 2013 – 14 children adopted by same-sex couples out of 489 adoptions (2.9%)
- 2012 – 8 out of 495 (1.6%)
- 2011 – 1 out of 496 (0.2%)
- 2010 – 5 out of 466 (1.1%)
- 2009 and before – none.
TOTAL for Scotland – 28 children adopted by same-sex couples since 2010. (Source)
None yet but hopefully we’ll have some good news soon. The official legal position in Northern Ireland is that couples can adopt and the term “couple” extends to unmarried couples (including same sex couples) and those in a civil partnership.