Baaf: Negative stereotypes may count against boys up for adoption

Couples looking to adopt a child may be less likely to choose a boy because of negative stereotypes, the British Association for Adoption and Fostering warned today.

A poll carried out for the organisation by ICM found that 24% of men and 21% of women thought that boys were more trouble to parent. One in five women also said they would prefer a girl if they were to adopt.

Nearly half of those questioned thought there was a general perception that boys were more trouble and harder to parent than girls. Baaf released the figures as part of National Adoption Week, which begins today.

National differences

The research also revealed varying attitudes across the UK. People in Scotland expressed a preference for adopting boys over girls, whereas those in Wales, south-west England and Northern Ireland were the least interested in adopting boys.

Baaf chief executive David Holmes said he was concerned about the findings. He added: “Too often, anti-social behaviour, violence, crime and gangs are associated in our minds when we think about boys.

“We all need to remember that boys are children and young people first. In reality there is little evidence to show that boys really are more difficult.”

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