Family support charities

The marginalised families online project is supported by the following national charities, who offer information, support and advice for people in non-traditional families (including LGBT, adoptive and/or solo parents). You can read about them below, and find links to some of the key resources they offer. You can also find links to other relevant charities and resources here.

adoption ukAdoption UK is a charity with over 4,000 members which promotes awareness of the challenges facing adoptive families. They provide ‘support, community and advocacy for all those parenting or supporting children who cannot live with their birth parents’, and ‘a strong, supportive community’ for these groups*. Adoption UK offers information, resources and support in the form of a magazine published every other month, Adoption Today, a helpline run by highly skilled advisors, online forums and face-to-face peer support groups. Adoption UK also use public online networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, to connect peers and communicate key messages. They hold an annual conference every autumn for adopters and professionals. In addition to supporting families directly, Adoption UK aims to promote real positive change for adoptive families in the UK by influencing government policy. The organisation regularly communicates the views of adopters to decision-makers through consultations and written evidence. Its current advocacy priority is its Equal Chance campaign, which is calling on the UK government to re-think the way we are educating our most vulnerable children and to address the shortfall in vital support needed in schools. Adoption UK’s support for this project is particularly valued because it has shown excellent and explicit support for LGBT and single adopters.

DCNThe Donor Conception Network is a UK charity that provides advice, support, and information on the socio-emotional aspects of creating families using egg, embryo or sperm donation. In addition to working with intended and existing families and donor conceived people, they also work on their behalf with professionals and policy makers. The Donor Conception Network’s membership includes heterosexual couples (around 60%), single women, who tend to identify as ‘solo mums’ (around 30%) and lesbian couples (around 10%). They offer services to these families through their telephone/email helpline and support groups, which operate both online and face-to-face. They also run twice-yearly family conferences and regular workshops. The charity creates resources for families, publishing their own journal and producing books for donor conceived children and their parents. Finally, the Donor Conception Network has a strong track record of supporting and collaborating with researchers. Through these connections, they are able to draw on relevant research, together with their extensive experience, to ‘support and guide would-be and current parents in the issues they face and the feelings they may have about making and raising a family’*.

*From the websites of Adoption UK and the Donor Conception Network.