Broadcaster and author Stephen Fry has voiced a video, produced by Allard Bailey Family Law, to help challenge stigma toward LGBT families. The nine-minute film draws on independent research from the UK, United States, the Netherlands and Australia* that shows children raised by same-sex parents usually outperform others academically.
Stephen Fry says in the video that “stigma” is the one big disadvantage of same sex families: “As medical advances enable more people to have biological children, adoption is declining among traditional families. At the same time there is a rise in adoption among same sex parents, who also adopt more of the children considered difficult to place, such as those with health problems, older children and siblings who should stay together. These children would otherwise face a very difficult future in care.”
Louise Allard, Director of Allard Bailey, said: “Despite the progress that has been made for the LGBT community in recent years, many people still view same-sex parenting with suspicion. Sadly, children face bullying because of their same-sex parents and their parents often face stigma. We believe this stigma is unjustified and hope our video is a contribution to ending this.
It is intended to promote social inclusion, encouraging all children and those who influence them to accept differences in our society with toleration.”
The video has been released free on Stephen Fry’s YouTube Channel, Pindex, as an aid for schools that are introducing LGBT inclusive relationship education for the first time.
The government’s new relationships and sex education curriculum came into effect from September, requiring LGBT-inclusive lessons in secondary schools. It stopped short of making LGBT+ inclusion lessons compulsory for primary schools. Instead, they are only “strongly encouraged” when teaching about families to include families with same sex parents.
Louise Allard said: “We need to challenge the misconception that somehow being raised by same-sex parents is second best. The research clearly shows that children of same-sex couples are often happier and healthier, even when social and economic advantages were taken into account. Of course, nobody is suggesting one kind of gender combination is better than another, just that what matters for a child’s outcome at school is a loving and supporting home life.
It is disappointing that the government didn’t make teaching about LGBT+ families mandatory in primary schools as so many primary schools now have students with same-sex parents. We hope those schools will choose to educate their population.”
It is hoped that many primary schools will still use the ‘No Outsiders’ programme developed by Andrew Moffat, the deputy headmaster of Parkfield Community School in Birmingham, which focuses on educating primary school children about the characteristics protected by the Equality Act, which includes sexual orientation.
The number of same-sex couple families in the UK increased from 152,000 in 2015 to 232,000 in 2018, a rise of 53.2 per cent.
Research suggests that an estimated two-thirds of children with same-sex parents experience some form of stigma due to their parents’ sexual orientation.**
For further information contact Evette Pottinger.
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About Allard Bailey
Allard Bailey Family Law supports families of all shapes and sizes through their best and worst times, which gives us a remarkable insight into real family life.
With offices in London’s legal district and Hertfordshire, the firm assists UK and international clients with every decision-making stage of their private lives, including Adoption & Surrogacy, Children’s Law, Cohabitation, Court of Protection, Divorce & Separation, Domestic Abuse, LGBT Family Law, Pre and Post-Nuptial Agreements, Tax & Estate Planning, Wills & Probate