Recruiting, assessing and supporting lesbian and gay adopters

Recruiting, assessing and supporting lesbian and gay adopters

Anisa de Jong, Sharon Donnelly


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The number of lesbians and gay men who have successfully adopted children has grown substantially over the last decade, and seems set to increase. Lesbians and gay men can be a valuable resource for children waiting for adoption; however, although recruiting and assessing lesbians and gay men may now be routine for some agencies, for others, it may be less common.

What steps can agencies take to encourage lesbians and gay men to consider adoption and value them as a resource? What can they do to successfully recruit them? What specific issues need to be considered in their assessment? How can they best be supported during the process and post-adoption?

This Good Practice Guide provides practical guidance, information, advice and signposts to further resources to help agencies and practitioners to welcome lesbian and gay applicants, and work effectively to assess and support them.

Who is this book for?

Social workers, managers and all those involved with the recruitment, assessment and support of lesbian and gay adopters.

What you will find in this book

The guide reviews the legislation on lesbian and gay adoption, presents current research findings about the outcomes for children placed with lesbian and gay adopters, explores the policy and practice issues surrounding these questions, and also discusses key concerns such as:

  • How can social workers instill applicants with confidence and reassure them that they will be treated fairly?
  • How can practitioners ensure that they are confident, for example, about the language that should be used and the issues that should be explored in the assessment?
  • Should assessors cover points of “difference” or should they treat applicants rigorously “the same”?
  • How can workers undertake an assessment without prejudice, whilst still being robust and covering all relevant areas?


Anisa de Jong:
Anisa de Jong is undertaking a PhD on social work assessments of lesbians and gay men at the University of Kent.

Sharon Donnelly is an independent trainer and consultant. She is the independent chair of Brighton and Hove’s fostering panel and vice chair of their adoption and permanence panel.