Adoption or fostering as parenting options for trans and non-binary people

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A presentation of the findings of a narrative inquiry into trans and non-binary people’s experiences of adoption and fostering in the UK. Though there has been a solid research base developed focusing on lesbian and gay adopters and foster carers (e.g. Cosis-Brown et al. 2015; Golombok et al. 2014;), the voices of trans people have rarely been included. It can indeed be argued that such research with LGBT communities can have the unintended effect of subsuming trans voices that need to be brought to the forefront of research (Biblarz and Savci 2010; Rogers 2016, 2017b).

This presentation will examine the findings from in-depth interviews with people who self-define their gender as trans, non-binary or another related term, It will also include the experiences of Social Work staff involved in assessing and supporting trans and non-binary parents through the adoption or fostering processes. In doing so, it will explore the challenges that trans and non-binary people may face in trying to adopt or foster a child. Incorporating my practice experience as a fostering and adoption social worker and therapist, I will consider how issues can be addressed.

The piece will consider the impact that gender normativity can have on trans and non-binary people in the context of adoption and fostering. It will argue that we must remove gender barriers in adoption and fostering in order to find good homes for all the children who can’t stay with their birth families. Research and practice knowledge will be used to offer guidance as to how services can work towards greater inclusion, suggesting some of the unique strengths that trans and non-binary families may offer adopted and fostered children.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2020
EventTrans Pregnancy: Fertility, Reproduction and Body Autonomy - Carriageworks, Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Jan 202016 Jan 2020


ConferenceTrans Pregnancy: Fertility, Reproduction and Body Autonomy
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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