Gay couples encouraged to consider adopting in Gloucestershire
GAY couples in Cheltenham are being urged to consider adoption and fostering.
Bosses at Gloucestershire County Council are pushing for more people from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities to come forward.
And they are hoping that the second annual LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, which runs from today, will encourage more people to step up to the role.
Among those who are hoping to adopt are Cheltenham couple Steven, 33, and his partner Ian, 37.
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The couple, who have not given their real names, were recently approved as adopters.
Steven said: "We'd been discussing it for eight or nine years. As nieces and nephews have come along, we felt having a child was something missing from our own family.
"We thought adoption was better for us than going down the surrogacy route and bringing another child into the world."
Now they have been approved as adopters, Steven and Ian are now preparing themselves, their home and their family and friends. They have had already been given details of siblings looking for a home and are waiting to go to the adoption panel to see if they will become their parents.
Councillor Paul McLain, cabinet member for vulnerable families, said there was always a need for more carers.
He added: "We have a small number of LGBT foster carers and adopters, but would welcome more. Fostering is a challenging role to take on but it can make a real difference to a child's life.
"Our aim for all children is to give them the best possible life chances, which means offering the opportunity to adopt to the widest possible range of people. We need people from across the community to come forward to consider adoption. We particularly need families who would welcome groups of brothers and sisters."
Anyone interested in fostering can contact Gloucestershire County Council's fostering team on 01242 532654 or visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/fostering.
Anyone wishing to find out more about adoption can contact Gloucestershire County Council's adoption team on 01452 427753 or visit the websiteat www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/adoption.