NI gay adoption case goes to UK Supreme Court

The UK Supreme Court is set to consider a case that could force gay adoption on Northern Ireland – even though most of the public are opposed.

An official consultation on the question found that 95 per cent of respondents in the Province were opposed to changing the law.

The Northern Ireland Executive decided to keep the current law which says couples must be married to adopt jointly.


But that decision was successfully challenged in court by a human rights quango last year, a ruling which is now set to be appealed to the UK Supreme Court.

Edwin Poots, Northern Ireland’s health minister, is fighting for the current law to stay as it is.

Earlier this year, the Court of Appeal upheld the previous ruling that the adoption law in the province is discriminatory.


During the case Attorney General John Larkin QC, speaking on behalf of the Health Department, said the current adoption criteria is lawful, appropriate, has public support and is in the best interests of children.

Last week, Mr Larkin asked the Court of Appeal for clarification on the issue, but was refused and told it is for the Supreme Court to make a decision.

In 2007 the Government held a consultation in Northern Ireland about their proposals to extend joint adoption by homosexuals to the Province.


The official report of the consultation showed that 95 per cent of respondents did not want the law to change to allow homosexual couples to adopt.

Joint adoption by homosexual couples was legalised in England and Wales in 2002 and came into force in 2005.