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article imageCharity says bigotry towards gay parents means kids miss out

By Andrew John     Jan 31, 2011 in Lifestyle
A leading UK children’s charity says young people in need of adoption are losing out because of bigotry towards gay parents.
Barnardo’s – formerly Dr Barnardo’s Homes – says too many people think gay couples make inferior parents, according to the Daily Mail.
“The charity’s new chief [Anne Marie Carrie] said that prejudice against gays is harming the chances for young people in the care system winning new homes through adoption,” says the UK tabloid. “The plea on behalf of gay parents comes after outgoing chief of Barnardo’s Martin Narey said last week that there were plenty of couples queuing up to adopt children – but were prevented from doing so by race rules imposed by social workers.”
Narey’s words come only weeks after Elton John and his husband David Furnish became joint fathers with the help of a surrogate mother.
Will never find a family
The paper quotes Carrie as saying: “The idea that gay parents are second best must be challenged. To suggest that a same-sex couple is not as able to raise a child as a heterosexual couple is at once absurd and unsubstantiated.”
The Guardian cites research collected by Barnardo’s that “shows that only 3.75% – or 120 out of 3,200 – children adopted in England in 2010 were adopted by same-sex couples: a figure that was evenly split between couples who were and were not in a civil partnership.
“There are more than 64,000 children in the care system in England: one quarter of whom will never find a family.”
In Wales alone, of 230 children adopted in 2009–10, only fifteen went to single people and five to same-sex couples, the BBC reports.
University research
The director of Barnardo’s Cymru (Wales), Yvonne Rodgers, said society must challenge the idea that gay parents are “second best.”
The charity’s views have been welcomed by the gay lobby organization Stonewall, whose chief executive, Ben Summerskill, says: “This research shows the majority of people view lesbian and gay parents as equal to any other parents. Recent Cambridge University research ‘Different Families’, commissioned by Stonewall, found that the children of same-sex parents enjoy an equal quality of upbringing as any other children – and they recognise this themselves.
“However, children with lesbian and gay parents often wish others were more accepting. Some reported experiencing homophobic bullying for having same-sex parents at both primary and secondary school – demonstrating the need to tackle prejudice early on in education.”
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