Ban over gay adoption should stay, court told
Adoption laws in Northern Ireland are to ensure child welfare rather than satisfy the wishes of would-be parents, the High Court has heard.
Attorney General John Larkin QC argued that the current ban on gay and unmarried couples should remain until the Stormont Assembly decides otherwise.
Mr Larkin was responding on behalf of the Department of Health to a legal challenge brought by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.
The body is attempting to force legislative change to bring adoption laws into line with the rest of the UK. It claims the current status, as it stands in the Civil Partnership Act 2004, is discriminatory and breaches human rights.
The judicial review application has been backed by an unidentified lesbian woman and her partner who want to adopt a child.
But the Attorney General contended that the commission's case involved “cardinal errors” in interpretation of the law and its own role in the litigation. The basis for adoption was also not properly understood, he claimed.
Mr Larkin said: “Adoption in Northern Ireland exists for the welfare of children, not to satisfy the wishes of adults”.
The hearing continues.