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Fostering as a same sex couple

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A lot of our potential carers have questions about if they can foster based on various things, such as if they live in rented accommodation, whether they can foster as a single parent or questions surrounding LGBT fostering.

There are often myths around same-sex foster couples, such as having issues with fostering if you are transgender, gay, bisexual or other issues surrounding LGBT. Here at Capstone, we’re here to reassure anyone who wants to foster who is from the LGBT community that these are simply myths – and your sexual orientation will not affect your ability to foster a child.

We’ve spoken to some of our successful same sex foster carers who kindly wanted to share their story with others who are of the LGBT community and are looking to foster.

Same sex fostering

Case Study: Christian & Chris

”We thought that being gay would be an issue but I can hand on heart say it has not at all. We have been treated with respect and understanding every step of the way. We had big reservations and doubts and wondered whether people would question why two men were fostering. But it was all in our heads.”

Christian and Chris met nine years ago while they were both working at Leeds Bradford Airport, and soon moved in together. The idea of adopting children was raised, and after discussions, they decided that they would venture down the fostering route instead to begin with.

“As a strong devout Christian, I believe that everyone has been put on this earth for a purpose. I thought my purpose was working with children, but working in a school just didn’t feel right. After conversations with Chris about babies, we decided we wanted to make a difference in lots of kids’ lives – and start fostering.”

Christian and Chris started their career in fostering as respite foster carers, as they didn’t have any parental experience initially. This lasted for around 6 months, where they assisted with both weekends and weekdays to allow foster carers a breather from their current placement.

“We had a couple of kids who were apparently quite challenging, but we never experienced that behaviour. We were like the fun uncles – we’d take them out and had a great time.”

Later, the couple went back to the panel and were approved as long term foster carers, and had their first placement the day after they were qualified.

“Early on, we had a young lad placed with us with the potential that his sister was going to move in, too. However, after a few assessments, the sister wasn’t able to move in – but the lad continued to stay living with us.

“6 months later, we had another young man placed in our care from a different local authority. We were told that we were his last chance. He had attachment issues, and attended a specialist behavioural school.

“We met this young lad in the first week of December, and he was in our care by the 16th. His social worker was very adamant he shouldn’t be in a placement where he wasn’t wanted over the Christmas period.

“Initially, he was apprehensive about the idea of being placed with two blokes – but we soon realised that this was a learnt behaviour, and he warmed up to the idea relatively easily.

“5 years on, and both of the young lads still live with us in our care.”

In a lot of circumstances, foster children become what is known as Care Leavers when they turn 18 – which means that they mature out of the fostering system. However, in this case, Christian and Chris explored some routes for living semi-independently but decided this wasn’t the right move during the national lockdown.

“One of the boys calls us both ‘Dad’”

Regarding contact with the biological families, Christian explained how both of the young men still see their own biological families – and they’re very keen to promote a healthy, positive relationship between them and their biological parents.

When asked about if they had run into any issues fostering as a same sex couple, Christian explained that he could safely say they had no issues – the only issues with being a same sex foster couple was from their own reservations.

“We thought being gay would cause many obstacles we’d need to overcome – but it wasn’t an issue at all!"

The couple have now been fostering for 6 years, and both of the boys in their care were actually page boys for them at their wedding in 2018. They still live all together, both Christian and Chris and the two boys. “We have almost become normal, whatever normal is…”

Learn more about Chris and Christian’s story now, or if you’re interesting in learning more about same sex fostering for yourself, get in touch with a member of our friendly team today who can help you begin your journey to transform the life of a young person.

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