27/06/2013

Court Ruling Paves Way For Gay Adoption

A decision by Northern Ireland's Court of Appeal has paved the way for same-sex couples to adopt children.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, the issue was brought to the Court of Appeal after Health Minister Edwin Poots challenged a previous ruling by Belfast High Court that ruled the current adoption ban on same-sex couples was unlawful.

Currently, a single gay or lesbian person can adopt children in Northern Ireland, but a couple in a civil partnership cannot.

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission praised the decision, saying the move would now bring NI into line with the rest of the UK.

The Commission was challenging the ban against same sex and opposite sex couples from adopting children under the 1987 Northern Ireland Order.

At the High Court last October, Mr Justice Treacy ruled that the ban discriminated against those in civil partnerships and breached their human rights, but Mr Poots lodged an appeal against that decision.

Thursday's ruling upholds the decision of the High Court.

It is not yet known if the Department of Health will look to appeal the matter to the Supreme Court in London.

(JP/CD)

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