This is good news for children in care in Northern Ireland. The current rules are illogical and harm children, and stigmatise Northern Ireland as a prejudiced backwater.
Although UK courts don’t like to step on the toes of the legislature, the 2008 case is a strong precedent and there is a very good chance that this case will succeed.
I think it will be a while before many same-sex couples adopt, though. The care system in NI has been encouraging more lesbians and gay men to foster, but many potential foster carers fear they will be criticised or worse by their local community. Although single gay people are permitted to adopt currently, very few do.
If children are to benefit from any change in the law which the courts might mandate, care teams will need to reach out to gay people and tell them they will be valued as adopters.
As someone from Northern Ireland ( and a Gay Parent) I hope this case does not take long. There are so many kids out there needing love.
Great to hear this case is happening, and great to hear of the encouragement from the NI care system to encourage LGBT fostering.
Like SHANE, I hope that this will be tackled as quickly as possible, I am sure NI is not different to many other parts of the UK in that there are many children out there who are in dire need of a stable and loving, supportive upbringing. I know in my local authority area there are currently no people willing to adopt.
I do agree with atalanta that there are likely to be concerns amongst potential foster carers and adoptive parents about reaction within the community but some of this is tackled by education and a debate being had. Some of it is tackled by just supporting the children. It may well turn out many more people are welcoming than suspected.
Only married couples can adopt in NI? Hmmm, now tell me that CPs are equal, another reason to legislate for civil marriage equality.