Adoption and fostering by gay couples to become easier in Scotland

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Scotland’s Children’s Minister, Adam Ingram, has announced that the Scottish Government will introduce regulations to make it easier for gay couples to jointly adopt children. A decision that has already outraged the Scottish Catholic Church.

Unlike England or Wales, in Scotland only one partner in a same-sex couple can legally adopt a child. The changes will be implemented through regulations attached to a an earlier Adoption bill.

Children’s Minister Adam Ingram MSP said: “This government is clear that the most important concern is meeting the needs of the child, regardless of the potential carer’s sexual orientation.

“Where adoption by a same-sex couple is the best option for a child, that route should be available.

“That’s what already happens through existing laws and what this legislation strengthens.”

The regulations will also allow gay couples to jointly foster children, something that has outraged the Scottish Catholic Church.

Last month, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Scottish Catholic Church said: “The proposals are as misguided as the change to allow same-sex adoption,”

“In a consultation at the time of the change in adoption law, 80 per cent of respondents opposed the change yet the government ignored their concerns.

“A mass of evidence attests to the instability of unmarried relationships and the chronic instability of same-sex partnerships yet worryingly it is ignored.

“Since less than two per cent of the population is homosexual and a minority of this group are in a stable relationship, which would allow consideration as foster parents, it is difficult to see how the changes advocated can have any impact on widening the potential pool of foster families.”

But Mr Ingram stressed that decisions on carers are made in the best interest of the child “The decision to take a child into care is always made on the best interests of the young person and the numbers are increasing, suggesting those in need are being identified and agencies are intervening to get them support and security.