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United Kingdom

Northern Ireland lifts ban on same-sex couple adoption

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

BELFAST — Northern Ireland has lifted its ban that prohibited same-sex couples in civil partnerships from adopting children.

A ruling by the United Kingdom’s high court cleared the way for same-sex couples to adopt in the same manner as heterosexual couples.

adoptionNorthern Ireland’s Health Minister Edwin Poots had mounted a challenge to a Court of Appeal decision last June to extend adoption rights to same-sex couples.

The Court of Appeal judgment ruled that the ban based on relationship status was held to discriminate against those in civil partnerships and to breach their human rights. The appeal to the United Kingdom Supreme Court was made by the Department of Health in September 2013.

In its decision, the Supreme Court said the Department of Health’s argument for appeal did not meet the criteria.

Appearing before the Northern Ireland Assembly, which is responsible for making laws on local matters in Northern Ireland last month, Poots denied claiming that he regards homosexuality as “an illness” but defended his opposition to gay adoption.

In answer to a question from a lawmaker, Poots said: “The natural order, whether one believes in God or whether one believes in evolution, the natural order is for a man and a woman to have a child and therefore that has made my views on adoption very, very clear and on raising children very, very clear.”

“The truth is that still today, in this modern era, it is only a man and a woman that can produce a child, and therefore I think it is in the best order for a man and a woman to raise a child.” he added, “People can criticize me for that and they can challenge me for that and they can say it is backward.”

Prior to the court’s action, a single gay or lesbian person could adopt children in Northern Ireland, but a couple in a civil partnership could not.

Northern Ireland was the only part of the United Kingdom where that policy existed.

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80 more reader comments:

  1. what?!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:23am
  2. Yaay!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:24am
  3. Amazing! I’m so glad to see the strides we’re making for equality all over the world, I hope it continues quickly!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:24am
  4. right on

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:41am
  5. That’s…surprising. I expected Ireland to be one of the last on board with the gay rights train.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:25am
  6. yay for kids can get into loving homes

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:25am
  7. right on

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:41am
  8. Time for the southern part of Ireland to do the same. Oh, wait! They're all Catholics down there…Damn...

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:59am
  9. It will happen in Ireland... the people are less akin to the church now since the child abuse scandal of the catholic church...

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 11:21am
  10. Yay!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:25am
  11. Congrats!!! Way you family be as happy as all the others! Love to hear storys like this…. ♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡♥

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:25am
  12. <3 :)

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:26am
  13. I want one to baby lol

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:27am
  14. Thats awesome!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:27am
  15. Best news possible for the kids waiting in orphanages, as much as the loving couples waiting to adopt. Wonderful news!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:29am
  16. Awesome

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:31am
  17. Yay :)

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:32am
  18. Ellen

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:35am
  19. love it

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:36am
  20. Makes me happy to be of Irish descent.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:37am
  21. Ditto here!

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:19am
  22. Yay Ireland!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:38am
  23. Northern Ireland.

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 12:42pm
  24. Well let’s make it clear, this is Northern Ireland not the Republic of Ireland. So they are more British.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:40am
  25. this is true,

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:53am
  26. Northern Ireland IS Britain, not more British, the Republic is a country in its own right.

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 11:47am
  27. Just to make it clear because that sounded like you were saying ROI is still British just less than NI

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 11:47am
  28. Yay for babies getting families and loving parents getting their finale puzzle piece !!!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:45am
  29. Aw

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:48am
  30. Awe ,cute couple. :-)

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:49am
  31. Brilliant …. (mmm Irish guys >_< ) great benefit for children and parents… and headaches when the teenager years come.. :P

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:50am
  32. Beautiful

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:50am
  33. <3

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:50am
  34. Can only hope I’ll see this kind of change here while I reside on this planet. Support love!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:54am
  35. Yay! Let the happy families be formed

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:57am
  36. Hardcore catholic land grants lgbt rights before America the land of the free ?

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:57am
  37. Excuse me? "Hardcore catholic land"? You need to research this country before you type.

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 12:40pm
  38. Great.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:01am
  39. Yes!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:10am
  40. Its me dream c’:

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:11am
  41. i hope that all countries in which civil-partnership is legal will lift their ban that prohibited same-sex couples in civil-partnership from adopting children.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:13am
  42. Ke bien se ben jeje..

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:22am
  43. And suddenly the world became a better place.. Thanks Northern Ireland <3

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:23am
  44. an the other hand , fuck@ng indian supreme court has crimnlised gay sex yesterday…

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:30am
  45. I guess by looking at this photo it’s now also legal for brunette male models with perfect teeth a full head of hair and no wrinkles to adopt also. No wait, it’s very cool, and I guess the message wouldn’t reach as much approval if the poster lads dint reflect clean cut catholic collage boys barely out of childhood them selves. Awesome! Someone else who has no business interfering in my life has decided we (the gays) are allowed to adopt! Maybe one day I’ll look like one if these two and have a family also! Give me a break.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:32am
  46. Look How progressive They are Fallon Wohleb;-)

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:39am
  47. That is wonderful:)

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:40am
  48. Having just said that I see that it’s actually NORTHERN Ireland. Way more protestant.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:44am
  49. great!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:54am
  50. They should talk to the Australians.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:02am
  51. About time

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:03am
  52. Sorry Elizabeth Cannizzaro Anglikowski but no we’re not, we’ve lost that reputation years ago so you can shut your mouth on that one.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:25am
  53. Yay! :D more happy families!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:29am
  54. Children need a male influence in their lives. Having two Dad’s will be amazing! :-)

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:42am
  55. Bravo Ireland….

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:50am
  56. Northern Ireland.

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 12:42pm
  57. <3

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 8:05am
  58. Thank goodness! I live in NIreland and have been against Edwin Poots using his own religious beliefs to influence the law and for using public money to fight against the ruling in the courts! Straight against hate! And also: he is not a Catholic.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 8:24am
  59. Whaddabout ye? :D

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 12:42pm
  60. That’s huge!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 8:32am
  61. Now, when will the republic follow suit?

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 8:58am
  62. Cary Fish…. It’s not “Hardcore Catholic” as you have written. Northern Ireland is made up of many mixed cultures. Protestantism being the majority here then Catholicism. Don’t assume a countries identity based on what you believe their religion to be. You would also find that the Political Party’s that support Same Sex Marriage and Equality are mostly Catholic/Nationalist and not the Protestant/British Party’s.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:26am
  63. <3

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 12:41pm
  64. lindos !!!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 10:19am
  65. why not as long as the kids get a parents who want them love care fr them it shouldnt matter

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 11:13am
  66. finally! some good news this week… now, can they allow marriage to happen there???

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 11:20am
  67. I don’t think anyone is in position to defend the Catholic Church. Literally hundreds of years of genocide, slavery, child abuse, stolen babies and violence doesn’t get forgotten that easily.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 11:32am
  68. only sensible people do see the point, well done Ireland

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 12:09pm
  69. Northern Ireland. It's different to Ireland.

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 12:41pm
  70. s you are right, thank you for reminding me

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:12pm
  71. To those congratulating Ireland: it has nothing to do with Ireland. We’re a separate country at the top of the island. Please learn the difference.
    As for the article, I am SO HAPPY that this has happened. Hopefully it won’t take any longer for them to get through the process than those to whom the adoption ban didn’t apply. So many more children in Northern Ireland will now be able to get loving homes, as others here have already said.
    I’m another who is glad that Poots and others that supported the ban did not get their way.
    Northern Ireland has become that much better for LGBTQ(etc) folks!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 12:48pm
  72. I hope we never forget the struggles of our past that have allowed us to realize the change we are experiencing today.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 1:12pm
  73. much love to every couple who can share there love more n more. some ppl dont knw how bleesed they are. theyrather be selfish n drink.smoke do drugs while there innocent baby grows inside :( id give love to a child who needed it.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 1:20pm
  74. yaaaay

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 1:46pm
  75. Well that is just great because there are too many children in this world that don’t have parents to love and care for them!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 1:54pm
  76. Yay

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 2:42pm
  77. Great looking family!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 2:51pm
  78. Happy families are a joy!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:15pm
  79. IM SO VERY PROUD FOR BEING WAT I AM.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:21pm
  80. I don’t live in Ireland but I would like to say is this news makes me proud to be in this world

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:33pm