Monday, May 12, 2014, 08:39
The chairman of the Adoptions Board has expressed disgust at the way adoption by same-sex couples has been “surreptitiously” introduced in the law on civil unions.
Ivan Grech Mintoff refused to reply to questions about the board’s position on the actual issue of gay adoption, saying it had been instructed not to comment. But he was more forthcoming on the manner in which the measure was introduced: “I can tell you outright that we were not consulted before gay adoptions became part of the Civil Unions Bill.
“We were taken totally by surprise to see these adoptions added to civil unions,” he said.
He added: “If you ask me, I think it was introduced in the most disgusting way possible. Surreptitiously is not a good-enough term to use.”
The law giving same-sex couples the facility to apply for the adoption of a child was enacted last month when Parliament voted in favour of the Civil Unions Bill that grants rights equivalent to marriage.
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In a reaction, Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli said there was no need to consult the board because the changes which had been made strengthened the vetting process and enabled the board to make a more realistic assessment of the people who applied to adopt children.
She said that before the change of the law, a gay person could apply to adopt a child while saying he/she was single, despite being in a relationship.
But from now on, the board would scrutinise both partners. It would thus be able to take its decisions on the basis of a realistic picture of the applicants.