It’s LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week! Thanks to New Family Social, the only national LGBT+ adoption and fostering charity in the UK, this week everybody is talking about the experience of LGBT+ adopters and foster carers and their children.

We’ve come a long way in a short amount of time, and to celebrate we’ve got 10 facts about LGBT+ adoption.

1. From April 2018 to March 2019, there were 490 adoptions by same-sex couples in England. That’s 14% of all adoptions in England.

2. The number and share of adoptions by same-sex couples has been steadily growing across the UK. Wales follows just behind England, with same-sex adoptive couples making up 13% of all adoptions in 2019. The latest data for Scotland, in 2018, shows that 6% of adoptions were to same-sex couples, the highest percentage since the first same-sex couples adopted in Scotland in 2010.

3. 2019 was the first year that Northern Ireland reported on same-sex adoptive couples, who made up 11% of adopters.

4. Voluntary Adoption Agencies (VAAs) are especially committed to approving and supporting LGBT+ adopters. In 2019, for example, 20% of Coram’s adopters, 25% of Faith in Families’ adopters, and 28% of PACT’s adopters were LGBT+.

5. The above data does not include bisexual adopters in opposite-sex relationships, trans adopters not in same-sex relationships, or single LGBT+ adopters. This is because current data across the UK reports on the gender makeup of couples, rather than on individuals’ gender identity or sexual orientation.

6. Laws in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have changed over time, and it has not always been the case that people in same-sex relationships could foster or adopt. LGBT+ people who are single, in relationships, in civil partnerships, or married have been able to adopt in all four nations of the UK since 2013.

7. Research, including a 2013 study from Cambridge University, has shown that children adopted by gay or lesbian couples are just as likely to thrive as those adopted by heterosexual couples.

8. Other research has shown that, although children of LGBT+ parents do not seem to experience greater problems at school or with peers, their parents feel well-equipped to help their children deal with issues of difference, tolerance, and acceptance.

9. The research from Cambridge also found that gay fathers were significantly less likely to experience symptoms of depression. They also appeared to interact with their children more, and their children had notably busy social lives.

10. According to New Family Social, the concerns that LGBT+ people most frequently raise include living with HIV, being non-binary and adopting or fostering, prior experience of mental health issues, and starting the process over age 40. None of these will bar anyone from exploring adoption. The most important thing is to be able to provide children with love and stability.

So, #WhyNotYou? If you’re thinking about adoption, find your nearest VAA and get in touch with them! You can also join the conversation on social media with #WhyNotYou #AdopterChoice #YouCanAdopt.