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United Kingdom: Unmarried Couples Allowed to Adopt in Northern Ireland

(July 2, 2008) Northern Irish adoption law has been brought into line with that of the rest of the United Kingdom, after the House of Lords declared on June 18, 2008, that sections 14 and 15 of the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order (SI 1987 No2203 (NI22)) contravened article 8 (the right to family life) and article 14 (preventing discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights. This now means that unmarried couples, and potentially gay couples, can apply to adopt children in Northern Ireland. (In Re P [2008] UKHL 38, available at;i Irish Ban on Unmarried Adoption Unlawful, THE TIMES (London), June 23, 2008, available at