Jersey minister wants to change adoption law

Senator Ian Le Marquand
Image caption Senator Ian Le Marquand said Jersey's adoption law was discriminatory

Jersey's adoption laws unfairly discriminate against men and must be changed, according to the island's Home Affairs Minister.

Currently single men are banned from adopting young girls but Senator Ian Le Marquand said that needed to change.

He said sometimes it was necessary for men to adopt a young girl - for instance, an uncle - and this needed to be recognised.

He said the new law had the best interests of the child at heart.

'Special circumstances'

At the moment Jersey's Royal Court must find special circumstances in cases which involve a single man adopting a girl.

The minister said: "If you had a situation where a father and mother are killed or unable to look after a child and there was an uncle, at the moment the court would have to go through a process asking whether there were special circumstances to justify the adoption.

"Elsewhere in the law there is a perfectly good test where the court would have to seek to safeguard and protect the welfare of the child, and we think that is sufficient."

Senator Le Marquand's proposition would see one paragraph removed from Jersey's adoption law related to the banning of single men adopting girls.

The law was originally introduced for the safety of young girls.

The proposed change is due to be debated by politicians in September.

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