A gay couple who foster children in Somerset are sharing their story to inspire others who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender to come forward. It’s ahead of LGBT Adoption & Fostering Week 2016 (Monday 7-13 March 2016).
Taunton-born Chris, 45, and Devon-born Ian, 31, have been civil partnered for eight years, and were approved as Somerset County Council Foster Carers 18 months ago. Today the couple are long-term Foster Carers for 0 to 18 year-olds, currently caring for two teenage boys with “chalk and cheese” personalities.
Chris has recently become a full-time Foster Carer since retiring from his job in engineering, while Ian works in the maternity unit at Musgrove Park Hospital. Chris also helps train prospective carers, and has also recorded a short Youtube video which you can view here:
Speaking on www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk, Chris says: “If you want to foster, and identify as LGBT, do what you feel is right. If it’s something you want to do, you should go for it. There will be people who are accepting of it, and people who aren’t, but you have got to do what makes you happy.
“When you’re going into fostering, you’re doing it because you want to make a difference to a child’s life, not to satisfy someone’s opinion of you, and if you have those skills to offer, then why shouldn’t you?”
Through a combination of “boundaries, consistent parenting, and support”, Chris and Ian have not just fostered young people, but the children’s ambitions to boot.
Chris says: “It’s making the difference. When you look at where we were six months ago, and see how far the children have come; what they’ve achieved, it makes you feel really proud… It’s getting them to believe in themselves and recognise their potential.”
Whatever your circumstances, sexuality, gender, ethnicity or income, it’s what you have to offer a child we care about most. To enquire about becoming a Foster Carer for Somerset, or about our rewarding Fostering to Adopt initiative, visit http://www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk, phone 0800 587 9900 for a confidential chat.
Or come along to one of our information-packed events:
- Tuesday 15 March, 7pm to 9pm, Costa Taunton, Fore Street, TA1 1JW
- Monday 21 March, 7pm to 9pm, Colliers Colliers Court, Manor Road, Frome, BA11 4BS
- Thursday 24 March, 7pm to 9pm, Costa Yeovil, Middle Street, BA20 1LE
To read Chris and Ian’s interview in full, visit www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk/chris-and-ians-lgbt-fostering-week-blog/
To find out more about LGBT Adoption & Fostering Week 2016 (Monday 7-13 March 2016), visit www.lgbtadoptfosterweek.org.uk