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Government has no plans to allow same-sex couples to adopt children

A poll found that three-in-five people in Ireland are in favour of same-sex couples adopting but the government has no plans to legislate for this.

File photo
File photo
Image: AP Photo/Adam Lau

THE GOVERNMENT HAS said that there are no legislative plans at present to allow gay and lesbian couples in Ireland to adopt children.

In answer to a parliamentary question, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald has outlined the current rules surrounding the adoption of children in Ireland and said that presently there are “

The Adoption Act states that a child may be adopted by married couples, a mother or father of the child or a relative of the child but there are no rules that allow for unmarried couples or gay and lesbian couples to jointly adopt a child.  Same-sex marriage is not permitted in Ireland at present.

It is possible for a single person to adopt a child if the Adoption Authority considers it desirable. This effectively means that if a person is living with a same-sex or opposite-sex partner they can apply to the Authority to adopt a child in their own right and raise the child with their partner.

However the person’s partner would have no legal rights in relation to the child. This has been criticised by LGBT campaigners in Ireland who last year told TheJournal.ie that this was “transparently discriminatory”.

A report by the Council of Europe last year noted that Ireland is one of 35 out of 47 member states which allows no access to adoption by same-sex couples.

A poll carried out by Red C for the Sunday Times last March found that three-in-five people in Ireland believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children.

The parliamentary question was tabled by Sinn Féin TD Jonathan O’Brien earlier this week.

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Hugh O'Connell

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