Charity backs gay parent adoptions
Children in the care system are losing out because of a disturbing and prevalent attitude among Britons that gay parents are second best, a children's charity has warned.
Barnardo's chief executive Anne Marie Carrie said there was no room for prejudice as a survey showed one in three people think gay couples will make worse parents than those in heterosexual relationships.
Society's attitude must be changed to increase the chances of the 64,000 children in the care system finding the secure, loving and stable homes that they desperately need, she said.
"The idea that gay parents are second best must be challenged," Ms Carrie said.
"There is no room for prejudice, children are in desperate need.
"To suggest that a same-sex couple is not as able to raise a child as a heterosexual couple is at once absurd and unsubstantiated. To continue to discourage potential adopters simply because of their sexual orientation is severely diminishing the chances of securing loving, stable homes for the children who are waiting.
"This debate needs to be urgently raised and myths surrounding how sexuality, race, marital status and gender can affect your parenting dispelled."
The survey of more than 2,000 adults found one in three (32%) of the public do not think gay couples can parent as well as heterosexual couples.
One gay adoptive parent, Marcel, who has two sons aged 17 and 18 with her partner Meryl, said: "I feel the result is based in ignorance because nobody knows if they are going to be good parents and no child comes with a manual so everybody does the best they can.
"I don't think a same-sex couple is going to find that any different to a heterosexual couple."