TRAFFORD Council is encouraging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to consider adoption and fostering to cover a national shortage.

LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week starts on Monday, and later in the month the council is holding an information evening for prospective parents and carers of the estimated 4,000 children nationwide who need adopting each year.

New Family Social, the UK charity for adoptive and foster families, estimates that 1 million LGBT people in the UK are of an eligible age to adopt or foster, and Trafford Council urges them to come forward.

"We know from experience that Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people often come to adoption and fostering with an open mind and real enthusiasm,” said Councillor Mike Cornes, Executive Member for Children’s Services at Trafford Council.

“Many of our children have had a very traumatic start to life, and we have seen them thrive with their new LGBT foster carers and adoptive parents.

"If you are single, over 40, or don’t own your own home, don't be put off, these are not important factors. We need people with stability, love and resourcefulness who can help a child with whatever needs they may have.”

New Family Social – a social network run by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adopters and foster carers – organise LGBT Adoption & Fostering Week, and director Tor Docherty encourages members of the LGBT community to get in touch.

“While more and more LGBT people are choosing to adopt or foster, many are still put off by fears that they won’t be welcomed by agencies, or that they might not be able to offer what children need,” he said.

“Things have moved on in the last six years within adoption and fostering, and our large community of families across the UK is incredibly welcoming and supportive.

“It’s clear to see how well our children are doing, and what a positive and rewarding choice it can be for the parents”.

Trafford’s next Fostering Information Evening is being held on Monday, March 23 from 4.30pm to 7pm at Sale Waterside in Sale Town Centre.