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Nearly half of foster care facilities accept LGBT children: survey

Kyodo

Nearly half of the foster care facilities in Japan say they have accepted children believed to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, according to a survey by a lobby for same-sex foster parents.

Rainbow Foster Care found that 99, or 45 percent, of the 220 foster care facilities that responded to a mailed survey between November and December last year said they had taken in LGBT children or those believed to belong to such groups.

Among the 99 facilities, 23, or 10.5 percent, said they were currently caring for LGBT children, 63 (28.6 percent), said they had done so previously, and 13 (5.9 percent) said they are and have done so in the past. The survey was sent to 601 facilities.

Of the 99 facilities, 66 said they had addressed LGBT issues in staff meetings or in consultations with the children involved.

At 29 facilities, specific LGBT needs regarding bathing, dressing, hairstyle and clothing had been accommodated, the survey said.

On the other hand, 30 facilities said they had not addressed LGBT issues, mainly because the children under care hadn’t raised the issue. Three of the responding facilities did not answer the question.

A total of 119 facilities responded to questions on difficulties and concerns experienced in addressing LGBT issues.

Many voiced worries about accepting LGBT children, saying accommodating their need for privacy was difficult because they could not provide individual rooms or bathing areas.

Also, some found it difficult to explain their situation to other children and requested education and training because their awareness of sexual diversity was not high.

Megumi Fuji, head of Rainbow Foster Care, said, “We will further investigate the situation and use (information) to reduce anxiety” at foster care facilities.