Health Secretary Alan Milburn said it was sensible to allow as many children as possible to grow up in a “stable” family environment, BBC and the Associated Press reported.
He said the government would support amending a bill now in Parliament to extend adoption rights to unmarried couples, including those who are homosexual.
He said officials would allow legislators a “free vote,´´ meaning the government will not pressure lawmakers from its Labor Party on how to vote, the AP said.
Homosexuals and other unmarried people are already allowed to adopt on their own in Britain. The proposal would allow them to have custody of adopted children jointly, said AP.
Those looking to adopt would still have to show that they can provide a “loving environment but also form a long-term stable relationship,´´ Milburn was quoted saying. The amendment is part of the Adoption and Children Bill.