SAME-SEX adoption is at a historic high in Scotland with 17 children placed with gay or lesbian couples in the past year.
Just four years ago there were no adoptions of children by couples in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) community.
But Scotland still lags far behind England where one in 12 children is adopted by LGBT couples.
Around 450 children are adopted in Scotland each year, suggesting that approximately one in 26 is adopted by gay or lesbian couples.
Scottish Adoption, the country’s prominent adoption agency, has highlighted particular success with male same-sex couples.
Figures so far into 2016 reveal that out of a total of 11 LGBT adoptions, seven of them were by gay couples with studies confirming that they made excellent parents.
In fact, agencies are now targeting same-sex parents due to how well children have flourished under their care.
Margaret Moyes, chief executive of Scottish Adoption, said: “A number of years ago, there was some scepticism around the merits of same sex adoption, but our experience these days is that everyone involved in planning for children is totally supportive.
“The evidence of how well children have flourished in their new families has I think been the significant factor.
“We now as an agency specifically target the LGBT community, encouraging people to consider adoption. I think we can predict agencies will be competing for LGBT adopters.”
She added that, unlike England, in Scotland there continues to be a shortfall of adopters, particularly for the sibling groups and older children.
Ravinder Kaur from Adoption and Fostering Alliance (AFA) Scotland said: “Diversity has always been at the heart of adoption practice.
“This requires adopters to draw on their own experiences of difference and resilience in order to offer creative and intuitive parenting to vulnerable children.
“As many LGBT individuals have had years of these experiences prior to parenting, they can only be seen as advantageous to adoption and we now have a body of research to support this.”
Clinton Joubert-Winn, who lives in Edinburgh, currently fosters a toddler, Alexandria, 22 months, with his civil partner Damien.
The pair hope to be able to fully adopt the youngster in the near future, once the necessary paperwork has been completed.
Clinton, 34, said: “When I came out as being gay I did not think there would be the possibility of ever having children.
“Now, being gay is much more accepted than it used to be and hopefully same-sex adoption will go the same way.”
He added: “There were no problems for us with the adoption process. We were treated exactly the same as anyone else.
“She will have two dads which is great…double the number others have. If we are out for a coffee she will be saying ‘Daddy, Dad’ and both of us respond.”
Damien, an account manager with a wine company, said: “Some days it is really difficult but some days it is really enjoyable. It’s scary how quickly we attached to Alexandria…we can’t remember what life was before her.”
However, not all organisations agreed that LGBT adopting should be encouraged.
Rev David Robertson, Free Church of Scotland Moderator, said: “We remain convinced that children need positive male and female role models and do best when brought up by a married mum and a dad.”