Felicity Collier, chief executive of BAAF
Adoption and Fostering, is optimistic that an amendment to the
Adoption and Children Bill allowing unmarried couples to adopt
children will gain the backing of the House of Lords.
was speaking after a Lords debate on the bill resulted in the
amendment being passed without a vote. Twenty-one peers spoke in
the six-hour debate – 12 in favour and nine against.
amendment, tabled by former social worker David Hinchliffe, Labour
MP for Wakefield, would allow unmarried and same sex couples to
jointly adopt children. Currently, unmarried couples can adopt, but
only one person has the legal status of adoptive parent.
have backed the amendment, but some peers voiced concerns that
unmarried couples that adopt couldn’t offer children the same
amount of consistency and security as a married couple.
Collier said: “Hopefully at the
end of the day it’s about the rights of children and not about
undermining marriage. On the balance of debate I think this will go
bill has gone to committee stage and will return to the Lords for a
vote before the summer recess.