Northern Ireland Health Minister Edwin Poots says “It is not a human right to adopt a child for either a mixed-sex couple or a same-sex couple.”
The DUP evangelical Christian Assembly Member is trying to maintain a ban on same-sex couples adopting in Northern Ireland – even though the policy was declared unlawful in October 2012.
In comments to the BBC, Mr Poots said: “I think we should be cautious about changing the system which actually provides the stability those children need.
“It is not a human right to adopt a child for either a mixed-sex couple or a same-sex couple.”
Mr Poots believes the majority of people in Northern Ireland remain opposed to adoption rights for same-sex couples.
“What I look at it is where the Northern Ireland public are on these issues and what is in the best interests of the children,” he said.
“There is a lot of public opposition to it.”
His comments came as a gay couple living in County Antrim revealed they had been urged by a social worker to adopt their two boys from England – in order to bypass Northern Ireland’s gay adoption ban.