There is no such thing as a typical family. The Australian family is “as diverse and different as the country’s terrain.” While ”traditional” families still exist, the way we organise families has changed so much that there are many fewer stay at home parents who could take on an extra one or two children from foster care. This has led to new challenges for the recruitment of foster carers.

The nuclear family is “no longer the most common family form.” So much so that the image of Mum, Dad & two kids behind a white picket fence seems almost quaint & old-fashioned. There are more than 6 million families in Australia, and 47,000 of those are same-sex partnerships according to the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics Census from 2016 – an increase of 81% in ten years.

It is true though, that same sex couples are much less likely to have children in their families. The Census data further showed that only around 15% of same-sex couples had children, while 42% of opposite-sex couples had two children in their family. The routes available to same-sex couples to have children are various, but none of them are as simple as that available to the majority of heterosexual couples.

“Can gay people foster?”

Some people still wonder if gay people can become foster carers. Happily, anyone who has space in their home and room in their heart can apply to become a foster carer, guardian or adoptive parent in NSW. Building a family through foster care is a rewarding and joyful route already taken by many LGBTI people. More people from the LGBTI community have also turned to foster care as a way of building their families due to the long wait & expensive financial outlay associated with overseas adoption.

It does not matter if you are a single person or part of a couple. What you do need is a spare bedroom & the willingness to share your life with a child or young person who may have been through significant trauma. Although there is no LGBTI-specific foster care Agency, there are many we can help connect you with who would welcome your application.

Read John & Rob’s story, a same-sex couple who provide foster care through CareSouth

Still not sure if you’re eligible? Take our Foster Care Quiz

Watch this video explaining the application process

If you’re ready to get started, fill out our enquiry form today!

Info sheet on LGBTI adoption & foster care from the Australian Psychological Society