Scottish same-sex couple adoptions double in three years

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Figures released this month show that adoptions in Scotland by same-sex couples have doubled since 2013.

There have been 97 same-sex adoptions in Scotland so far, prompting hopes that a 100th same-sex adoption will be announced within 2017 statistics.

The statistics from National Records Scotland show that 5.7 percent of all adoptions were to same-sex couples in 2016. This is in comparison to 4.4 percent of adoptions in 2015.

A happy family with same-sex parents
A happy family

There were 30 recorded same-sex couple child adoptions in 2015/2016, compared to just 14 in 2012/2013.

Same-sex couples have been able to adopt in Scotland since 2009, following similar legislation in England and Wales in 2005.

The Republic of Ireland approved same-sex adoption in 2015, with a 20-2 vote in the senate.

2016 provided the highest amount of Scottish same-sex adoptions since records began, with one in 18 total adoptions involving same-sex couples.

Nearly 2,500 children have been adopted by same-sex couples across Scotland, England and Wales.

These figures have been welcomed by New Family Social, the UK’s LGBT+ adoption and fostering charity.

Chief Executive of New Family Social Tor Docherty said: “It’s fantastic to see the number of same-sex couples adopting increase in Scotland.

“This means that social workers are considering a wider pool of potential parents for vulnerable children.

“In every adoption case the child’s needs are paramount and LGBT people can bring a wide parenting skillset to meet those needs.”

In 2013 a Glasgow-based adoption agency came under fire for denying gay couples the chance to adopt, saying that applicants must have been married for at least two years.

The agency lost their charity status for discriminating against same-sex couples who could not legally marry but regained it on appeal.

In the last five years, same-sex adoptions in England have increased by almost 300 adoptions, with 450 same-sex adoptions happening in 2016.

Data published in 2016 showed that 1 in 10 of adoptions in England is to a same-sex couple.