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28 February 2020

Cumbria County Council supports LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week

Once again this year, Cumbria County Council is supporting LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week (March 2-8) by holding a number of information sessions around the county.

Nationally 1 in 7 adoptions in 2019 were to same-sex couples and Cumbria County Council welcomes potential LGBT+ adopters and foster carers to get in touch and explore both paths to parenthood.

Martin and Daniel Jives* from Carlisle are proud fathers of two brothers aged 2 and 3, after adopting through Cumbria County Council.

For Martin, a joiner, adoption has always been something he has considered. “I knew I was homosexual from being a young lad and from then I always thought I’d have a family one day by adopting. I didn’t know a great deal until we began our research, but now here we are with children of our own.”

Same sex adoption became legal in 2005 but fast forward 14 years and there is still a perception that gay couples cannot adopt. Daniel, 29 explained: “We were nervous, we weren’t sure where to go for advice, we didn’t know how difficult it would be to progress because of our sexuality, that was one of our biggest concerns.”

Daniel, who works in finance sought advice from online forums and family and friends before he and Martin decided to contact the adoption team at Cumbria and pursue their desire to adopt. After several months of application forms, meetings and panels, the couple were approved to be adoptive parents. “It was one of those moments when you’re scared to pick up the phone, you just don’t know what the decision is going to be, but we did it, we were approved, and we were so, so excited to build our family,” said Martin, 32.

This month marks six months since the couple were matched with their two ‘superheroes’. Martin continued: “The boys are full of energy and laughter, they absolutely love dressing up, pretending to be superheroes and saving the day. Adopting has changed both of our lives; the boys are a delight and we are lucky to be their fathers.”

Kevin Kerr, a long term carer from Carlisle, said that fostering was a way for him and his partner to have a family of their own: “We wanted to be foster parents basically to have children in our loves. It was our way of having a family, being a same sex couple.

“We were the first same sex couple to foster in Cumbria and it’s been accepted as would any other family. It’s been a really positive experience, fostering is definitely a way of life rather than a profession; like any parents our life revolves around the children. This is just a different way of having children in your life.

“Families come in all shapes and sizes nowadays - step families, adopted families and foster families - there’s really no difference. Love is love.”

Cumbria County Council are hosting several fostering and adoption information events across the county, come along, have a cuppa and find out more:

Tuesday 3 March - LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering drop in, Costa Coffee, Angel Square Shopping Centre, Penrith - 11am to 1pm

Thursday 5 March - LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering drop in, Costa Coffee, The Lanes, Carlisle - 11am to 1pm

Friday 6 March - LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering drop in, Barrow Costa, Hindpool Retail Park, Barrow - 10am to 12pm

 For further information on adoption or fostering please visit cumbria.gov.uk/adoption or cumbria.gov.uk/fostering or call 0303 333 1216.

*Names changed to protect  identities




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Once again this year, Cumbria County Council is supporting LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week (March 2-8) by holding a number of information sessions around the county.