LGBT+ parenting

Cocker, Christine and Hafford-Letchfield, Trish; Dodd, SJ, ed. (2021) LGBT+ parenting. In: The Routledge International Handbook of Social Work and Sexualities. Routledge International Handbooks . Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, London, pp. 182-194. ISBN 9781000408614 (

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The last few decades have seen unprecedented legal changes in support of lesbian and gay equality in many Western nations across the world, including the United Kingdom, many countries in Europe, New Zealand, Australia, USA and Canada.The chapter provides an overview of the ways in which lesbians, gay men, trans and non-binary people are having children and creating families. The first part of the chapter will discuss LGBT+ family forming/creation that has occurred largely outside of the influence of the state. The second part of the chapter will look more closely at LGBT+ fostering and adoption practices – this is a route to parenthood that involves the state entering the homes and lives of those LGBT+ citizens who put themselves forward for assessment. These will almost always be undertaken by a social worker. As well as presenting data about various studies that have evaluated the outcomes for children, fostered and adopted by lesbians and gay men, the chapter will also critically examine the way in which social workers are consciously/unconsciously influenced by heteronormative expectations of what it means to be a family when assessing LGBT+ people as adopters and foster carers.