LGBTI people in Australia are more likely to consider becoming a foster carer compared to straight people because they “want to help children in need”.
In a survey commissioned by Key Assets – a children’s services provider – 73 per cent of LGBTI participants said they would would consider becoming a foster carer compared with only 42 per cent of heterosexual people.
Gay and lesbian couples were also more likely to consider becoming foster carers than heterosexual couples.
Key Assets’ Executive Director, Rob Ryan says that the desperate need for more foster carers in Australia is what prompted them to undertake the study.
“There are more than 43,000 children in Australia that need care and protection. This number has been steadily increasing over the past 10 years, but the number of carers is in decline,” he said.
“We wanted to understand the reasons why people would or would not consider becoming foster carers in order to uncover current perceptions and help myth-bust some of the misconceptions.
“It is pleasing to see that so many of the LGBT respondents said they would consider becoming a foster carer.”
Mark and Dave have fostered 21 children as a couple and would recommend the experience.
“Our lifestyle was gradually changing over time, a lot of our friends were having children and we were proud godfathers and uncles to nieces and nephews so it felt like a natural environment,” Mark said.
“We were well aware that there are plenty of children in difficult circumstances who need help and support and a loving family home.
“The young people we have fostered have been amazing. The older teenagers at first find it daunting, but once they meet us, any reservations about being placed with a same-sex couple vanish.
“We would advise any LGBT single or couple who are considering fostering to take each day as it comes and remember that you are matched carefully with the needs of the child or young person and receive full support.”