The first gay dad to adopt in Scotland was among the recent winners at the second annual Scottish Parent Awards, where parents and carers from across Scotland are recognised for their outstanding contribution to their families and communities.
James Smith, who along with his partner Neil, formally adopted now 12-year-old Samuel in 2012, was honoured with the Dads Do It! Award for his contribution to the Scottish community. James advocates for gay dads’ rights and runs charity Hillhead, an animal sanctuary and outdoor learning centre for children. Speaking of his award, James said: “Gay dads are still not given enough visibility, and so to be recognised for my contribution to parenting and the wider Scottish community makes me feel very proud.” Alongside James, who is from North Ayrshire, Edinburgh dad John Bell was also a winner of a Dads Do It! Award being recognised for supporting his family and local community.
The Edinburgh Young Scot ‘Ping’ Group picked up the Early Years Award for showing resilience and providing support to other young parents. The awards are hosted by Parent Network Scotland, the charity that supports Scotland’s parents and carers, with the aim of rewarding exceptional individuals, organisations and community groups. Nominated by members of the public, 18 winners were praised for their involvement in local community initiatives, their support of other parents and for showing great progress on their parenting journey.