Northern Ireland

Commissioner seeks judicial review of adoption laws

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission will take the Executive to court on Monday over its failure to extend adoption rights to same sex and unmarried couples.

The commission has launched a judicial review.

It argues that the law here is discriminatory and differs from the elsewhere in the UK.

A Stormont consultation five years ago showed overwhelming opposition to extending adoption rights.

Of those who responded, 95% did not want to see unmarried and same sex couples given the chance to adopt.

Since then controversy over the issue is believed to have delayed any wider reform of the adoption laws.

Appearing on the Inside Politics programme the Human Rights Commissioner Professor Michael O'Flaherty said his lawyers had told him not to comment in detail but confirmed the judicial review is set to go ahead.

"On Monday the Human Rights Commission will go into court in Northern Ireland in a judicial review, seeking to widen the basis for the adoption of children in all unmarried couples, be they heterosexual or homosexual," he said.