In the aftermath of a landmark court case which paved the way for unmarried couples in Northern Ireland to adopt, legal experts said there should be no reason as to why gay couples cannot take advantage of the ruling.

Last week the House of Lords ruled that a man could legally be recognised as the father of his partner’s biological daughter despite the fact that the couple were never married and do not have plans to marry.

They have been together ever since the child was born with the biological father making no contributions to the child’s upbringing.

The couple had previously lost a case in Belfast High Court and in the Court of Appeal in their five year battle.

The outcome of the case clearly states that it will be possible for unmarried couples to apply for adoption but does not exclusively say that it applies to same-sex couples.

Though, as it does not exclude them either, it brings hope that gay couples will be allowed to adopt in Northern Ireland, coming into line with the rest of the UK.

It is claimed that gay couples should be “eligible” and in a “normal position” to apply jointly to adopt a child though there will be setbacks.

Although unmarried couples are able to adopt, the status of any couple will be taken into consideration in the application process.

For example, a couple who have been together for a year but have a shaky relationship will not be eligible to adopt.