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To: transgendernews@yahoogroups.com
From: Stephanie Stevens
Subject:  [UK] Adoption Success

[Via e-mail from PFC Vice President Ben Thom and Press For Change News]


[6/10/09]

Earlier this year PFC were contacted by a trans man wanting to adopt a child with his partner. He needed to know his legal rights ­ were trans people able to adopt. Indeed we have every right to adopt as any other prospective parent ­ the problem was I had not heard of any successful case. It came as a pleasant surprise to discover the success story below kindly forwarded by Christine Burns, Diversity and Equality Specialist.  On behalf of PFC I wish the couple all the very best as parents and hope your sleepness nights are few. The news cast below includes a useful link which I hope will assist other trans people and their partners as they navigate the very stringent adoption process all prospective parents face.

Adopting ­-  A trans perspective By Christine Burns

From time to time over the last 4-5 years people have contacted me for advice about adopting children.

The potential for trans people to become adoptive parents has especially opened up since the Gender Recognition Act, allowing couples to marry (and even single trans people to show that their identity is officially recognised). The help I've been able to give personally is little more than moral support and encouragement, with a few ideas on how to counter
unprofessional social worker behaviour. The real achievements are by the applicants themselves, who¹ve then been willing to help others.

This week I recorded a Podcast interview with a trans man who successfully (with his wife) adopted two girls, and who is nowadays giving advice to other trans people who are keen to adopt children as well.

http://podcast.plain-sense.co.uk/2009/06/09/adopting-a-trans-perspective

'Nick' (a pseudonym) was not the first trans person to succeed in navigating the adoption process; however his experience is typical in many ways of the experiences of others.

Since making the programme 'Nick' has also set up an email address where people can contact him:

lgbtadoptionuk@gmail.com

Clearly it is also important that more social workers should become aware of how to react professionally to encountering trans people wanting to adopt as part of their case load. 'Nick' has some good tips for prospective applicants about how they should draw boundaries of what is acceptable and what isn¹t; however the responsibility should not have to rest on the
shoulders of applicants in that way. Adoption services (especially in the public sector) have a responsibility to ensure they see past the gender reassignment and assess applicants objectively on the basis of their true abilities to care for the child.

...Therefore if you know any social workers or social work managers who might benefit from hearing this programme please let them know about it.

I hope you enjoy the programme anyway, and please forward the details to your networks.


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