An amendment to the Adoption and Children Bill that would allow
unmarried couples to jointly adopt children was backed by MPs in
the House of Commons, writes Clare
Former social worker David Hinchliffe’s amendments to the
bill were backed by 288 MPs, with 133 people opposing the change
that would allow unmarried couples to adopt the 5,000 children in
care waiting for adoption.
Jonathan Shaw MP told the House of Commons how there were
permanent adoption plans for many children, but not a big enough
pool of adoptive parents for them.
“I do not know whether the provision will change that. I do not
know whether it will mean that social workers will be able to
assess more adoptive families, but I believe that it is worth
trying,” he said.
“It is certainly worth trying to ensure that we can widen the
pool,” he added.
Several prominent members of the Conservative party voted
against the amendment including shadow home secretary Oliver
Letwin, his predecessor, Ann Widdecombe, and shadow health
secretary Dr Liam Fox.
Adoption and fostering agency BAAF Adoption and Fostering has
welcomed the result. Chief executive Felicity Collier said: “This
issue has been thoroughly debated, and we are delighted that the
government has decided that this will now become their official
“We recognise that it is a complicated issue, and we will be
taking time to discuss it thoroughly with members of the House of
Lords,” she added.
MPs debated whether a same sex couple could adopt children, but
a vote on that issue will be held on Monday.