Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has welcomed the lifting of the ban on unmarried couples - including same sex couples - having the right to adopt.
Ms McLaughlin, who is also the Chair of the Assembly’s Health Committee, said: “The lifting of the ban on unmarried couples, including same sex couples and those in a civil partnership having the right to adopt is to be welcomed.”
Ms McLaughlin hailed the move as “a further step on the road to equality”.
Criticising the Health Minister’s efforts to impose a ban in NI, she said: “A minister must act for all people yet this case has seen Edwin Poots pursuing actions along the lines of his personal beliefs and allowing his prejudices to affect legislative decisions.
“The lifting of this ban will give much needed access for children in care to loving families. The focus in any adoption has to be the child’s welfare and to deny children a good home on the basis of prejudice is wrong.”