Recruiting, Assessing and Supporting Lesbian and Gay Carers and Adopters

Recruiting, Assessing and Supporting Lesbian and Gay Carers and Adopters

Star Rating: 4/5

Gerald O’Mallon and Bridget Betts, BAAF

ISBN: 1903699835, £9.95

The Adoption and Children Act 2002, which came into force at the end of last year, gave gay and lesbian families equal rights to adopt. This book is a timely reminder that they are an underused and valuable resource, writes Clea Barry.

For many gay and lesbian families, adoption is the first choice for starting a family, rather than a last resort after difficulties with fertility. They may also have particular strengths as adopters or foster carers, such as openness to difference and empathy with feelings of rejection.

The book includes reviews of the political, legal and research contexts, and then focuses on recruitment, support and assessment. The recruitment and support sections offering clear guidelines on what to include in assessments are particularly helpful.

A more detailed section on preparing children and birth families for placement would also have been welcome.

Prejudice and myths about gay parents are directly addressed and a clear anti-discriminatory value base is used throughout. Hopefully the new act will encourage more gay and lesbian families to come forward to adopt and foster, and this book will be a valuable resource. Recommended.

Clea Barry is an adoption social worker, Hackney Council.

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