Add Northern Ireland to the list of places expanding rights for same-sex couples.
Same-sex couples in civil partnerships there can now adopt children just as straight couples can, according to PinkNews.co.uk. Previously, a single gay or lesbian could adopt a child but not if he or she was coupled in a legally recognized relationship.
The court decision to extend adoption rights to gay couples had been challenged by Health Minister Edwin Poots, who recently said he was “disappointed” at the UK Supreme Court for dismissing his latest legal challenge against adoption rights for same-sex couples.
The Supreme Court said his department’s case did not meet the criteria for appeal.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “Following the Court of Appeal judgement in June 2013, unmarried couples, including same sex couples, and those in a civil partnership may apply to adopt.
“The final decision regarding the granting of an adoption order will lie with the court.”
In related news, same-sex weddings in England and Wales will commence March 29. Couples wishing to get married must submit a formal notice by March 13.
The decision to allow same-sex couples to adopt applies only to Northern Ireland since it is the only part of the United Kingdom that had such a policy.
Contact reporter Alex Davidson on Twitter at twitter.com/adwildcat