DUBLIN, Ireland, September 2, 2005, ( –Ireland’s Attorney General has reportedly cleared the way for homosexual couples living in Ireland to adopt children. AG Rory Brady has put forward a new interpretation of the Adoption Act which makes it clear that homosexuals can be considered as adoptive parents.

The impact of this interpretation was quickly felt when a lesbian couple promptly applied to adopt a child that they have been fostering for a number of years. According to an article in the Irish Independent, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) has confirmed the existence of the bid by the couple, who are from Cork, to adopt their foster child in both their names.
  The current situation in Ireland is that only married couples and single people (regardless of sexual orientation) can apply to adopt a child either here or overseas. The challenge seeks to overturn the law limiting adoption by a single cohabitating individual only.

According to Keith O’Malley, a GLEN spokesman, the biological mother is also in favour of her child’s adoption by this couple, one of whom already has children from a previous heterosexual relationship. Inability to access In-Vitro Fertilization has prompted the two women to attempt adoption. He stated that the only impediment preventing them doing so is the ban on non-married couples adopting as a couple. The spokesperson also stated that he did not think that the couple will challenge the current law in the High Court if their bid to adopt in both their names is rejected by the local health authority, as is expected.

In response to the request Minister of State for Children Brian Lenihan said no plans are in place to allow cohabiting couples to adopt children in the proposed new Adoption Bill and that no permission has been given to allow homosexuals to adopt.

In spite of the Minister’s comments the new interpretation made by the Attorney General is seen as giving social workers clearance to assess gays wishing to adopt even when they are living with a same-sex partner. Mr. O’Malley hopes that assessment will be extended to all cohabitating couples, both heterosexual and homosexual.

Lesbian partners apply to adopt foster child as a couple

Same-Sex Parenting is Harmful to Children Says REAL Women of Canada