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Adoption rates for same-sex couples in Northern Ireland are lower than other parts of the UK

Figures obtained by the BBC show that only one in 15 same-sex partners have been placed with a child compared to one in two in the rest of the UK

2018-12-14

Adoption rates for same-sex couples in Northern Ireland are lower than any other part of the UK.

Back in 2013, the laws in Northern Ireland were changed to allow same-sex couples to adopt for the first time – despite still not being able to get married – and was the last part of the UK to implement the change.

Now, figures obtained by BBC News NI revealed that since the law has changed, 30 same-sex couples have applied for adoption.

Out of these, only two couples had a child placed with them – a success rate of one in 15 – but in the rest of the UK, around 481 same-sex couples applied to adopt a child.

Of these, there was a success rate of one in two – with 235 couples having a child placed with them.

The BBC report that the lower rate could be due to adoption processes taking several years to be completed, meaning some adopters are still in the waiting processed and may have been approved but no child as of yet.

EJ Havlin, the Northern Ireland Director of Adoption UK, said: “Whenever this legislation first came in the changes happened almost overnight, so unlike the ‘bedding in’ period which happened in the rest of the UK, the changes overnight meant that social services needed to get some support and training.

“This has been a real cultural change, so it takes time for that to be embedded.”