A Doncaster couple who have been fostering since December 2020 are encouraging others to follow in their footsteps and take the first steps towards completing their family this LGBTQ+ fostering and adoption week.
The awareness raising week (7 to 13 March) is organised by national charity New Family Social. The week aims to encourage people from the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual) community to think about fostering and adoption as a way to build their family and #BeTheChange for this year’s campaign.
Leah and Nat, a same sex couple who have been fostering for over 18 months say, that the young people they have cared for don’t care about your gender or your sexuality.
“They just take you as you are”, says Leah. “We did have some reservations at first about what the kids would think about us, how they would react to us as a couple, but they have just seen us as Leah and Nat. We’ve cared for two teenagers during our short time fostering and the young people just want someone who will care for them, they accept our gender/sexuality.
“We always let the child take the lead on how they want to explain our relationship as a couple and their relationship to us to the other people in their lives. A young boy we are currently caring for says he’s our lad and we are his step parents, which makes us so happy, it is just priceless.”
There are many people who still think they wouldn’t be able to foster due to their sexuality and this an unfortunate myth and something that Trust Fostering want to dispel.
Leah adds: “We never felt judged or nervous throughout the process of becoming foster carers, we were seen and respected as individuals. The support we’ve had as carers from the Trust fostering team and other carers has helped us to learn new skills and embrace our fostering journey.
“Fostering is not about the money” says Nat. “The change we see in the children is so rewarding, they can sometimes come into your life withdrawn and angry, and with time your relationship just blossoms. Before long you begin to notice things that make you realise you’ve become a family such as helping out with homework, watching a film together, and going on days out, generally things we wouldn’t get to enjoy if we didn’t have a child in our life.
“When going into fostering be ready for anything, you will definitely get more out of fostering than you put in.”
Trust Fostering is the local fostering service in Doncaster, delivering on behalf of Doncaster Council. The experienced team offer extensive training throughout your fostering career as well as 24/7 for all our carers.
People from all backgrounds can make great carers, regardless of marital status, sexuality, race or religion. All that is required is at least one spare bedroom, an enthusiastic and passionate attitude and the time and patience to care for children and young people.
The Trust Fostering team together with Leah will be hosting an information session for members of the LGBTQIA+ community on Thursday, 17 March at 12.30pm. To book a place or to find out more about fostering for Doncaster visit the Trust Fostering website www.trustfostering.co.uk or call 0808 129 2600.