MPs are to vote again over whether to give adoption rights to
same sex couples after peers rejected the proposals last week,
writes Derren Hayes.
The free vote, which is due to take place within the next two
weeks, is likely to see the House of Commons give its backing for a
second time to the controversial amendment to the Children and
Earlier this year, MPs voted overwhelmingly to broaden the pool
of prospective adopters to allow homosexual and lesbian and
unmarried couples to adopt.
But following weeks of debate, the House of Lords defeated the
amendment 196 to 162 over fears it would undermine marriage, and
not best serve children awaiting adoption.
The vote is a blow to the government, as the bill has to be
finalised in time for the Queen’s Speech next month. If the
amendment threatened the entire bill it would almost certainly be
Health minister Jacqui Smith called the Lords decision
“disappointing”, but said the government was still committed to
pushing it through.
“The government’s aim has always been to ensure that more
vulnerable children have the chance of family life that adoption
can bring,” Smith added.
Felicity Collier, chief executive of Baaf Adoption and
Fostering, said the Lords had not appeared to understand the issue
– children can currently live with homosexual and lesbian
couples where only one is the adoptive parent.
“This means that their children will never have the opportunity
of having both their carers share the legal responsibility for
their future,” Collier said.