Working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people - partners in adoption services: Nick’s story

What is the video about?

In this film we meet Nick who is married with two adopted girls. Nick was born female, but was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, meaning that that he had the gendered mind of a man. When Nick and his wife applied to adopt, Nick decided to be honest about his past, even though the Gender Recognition Act 2004 states that people who are gender dysphoric or transsexual do not have to reveal their past.

Nick tells us how his first social worker was highly supportive of the adoption but that many others weren’t. He felt he had turned into a ‘gender dysphoria show’ due to the relentless questions about his gender reassignment. He felt that social workers were missing the point about his parenting ability and were focusing more on his condition. One social worker was determined not to allow discrimination to affect Nick and Marie’s ability to adopt and Nick felt that he was being assessed as a potential parent and not as a transgender person.

Nick and Marie adopted two children. Nick now provides training in relation to transgender adoption and raises awareness upon the issue of LGBT adoption.

Messages for practice

  1. Gender dysphoria refers to an individual who feels that their brain is a different gender to their body.
  2. The introduction of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 means that an individual does not have to disclose their past gender.
  3. The assessor should focus on the individual’s ability to be a good parent rather than making personal or moral judgements.
  4. Training is needed to enable social workers to work sensitively with transgender individuals and to work against the discrimination that exists in relation to LGBT adoption overall.

Who will find this useful?

Commissioners; directors of adult social services; social workers; social care workers; service users, their carers and families; social care and social work students; the general public.