Sharp rise in number of children adopted by gay and lesbian couples
Last year 180 infants were adopted by gay couples and another 150 went to live with lesbian parents, according to the Department of Education
There has been a sharp rise in the number of children being formally adopted by gay and lesbian couples, new figures from the Department of Education reveal.
Last year 180 infants were adopted by gay couples and another 150 went to live with lesbian parents.
Four years ago there were just a total of 120 children who were adopted by either gay or lesbian couples.
Heterosexual couples still make up the vast majority of homes provided for children who are adopted, with infants being placed with gay and lesbian parents accounting for around one in every 20 cases.
There are currently more than 68,840 children in the care of local authorities in the
The law was changed in 2005 to allow unmarried and same-sex couples to assume joint responsibility for an adopted child for the first time.
The reform was principally aimed at expanding the pool of potential adoptive parents at a time when there was a shortage of candidates considered suitable.
Previously, unmarried people in England and Wales adopted individually, giving their partners few parental rights. Only one partner was legally eligible to adopt, with the other applying for a residency order.
Since then the law was changed again making it illegal for charities to discriminate against gay couples, a move which effectively forced the closure of all Roman Catholic adoption agencies in England.
Last week, a Christian magistrate was disciplined for expressing the belief that children should be raised by both a mother and a father.
Richard Page told colleagues behind closed doors during an adoption case that he thought it would be better for a child to be brought up in a traditional family rather than by a gay couple.
A week later he found he had been reported to the judges’ watchdog for alleged prejudice, and was suspended from sitting on family court cases.