Published Tuesday, 22 October 2013
Mr Poots was seeking to overturn an earlier decision by the Court of Appeal which paved the way for gay and lesbian couples to adopt children in Northern Ireland.
A spokesman for the UK's top court said: "The Supreme Court of the UK has refused permission to appeal the Court of Appeal's decision in this matter."
Same-sex couples in a civil partnership are unable to adopt but a single gay person can.
In June, appeal court judges here upheld an NI Human Rights Commission claim that the Health Minister's ban was unjustifiably discriminatory.
Chief Commissioner Professor Michael O'Flaherty said the Commission brought the case to ensure the best interests of children in NI would be protected.
He said: "Unmarried couples, those in same sex relationships and civil partnerships are eligible to be considered to be adoptive parents.
"All of the judgments and today's rejection by the Supreme Court to hear a further appeal confirmed that the law in NI was out of step with the UK's human rights obligations."
Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin welcomed the ruling.
She said: "This is a sensible and logical decision and one that will be welcomed widely. It is a decision that is against discrimination and for equality."
Alex Attwood, SDLP MLA, said: "The decision by the Supreme Court not to give leave for appeal is a withering indictment of the Health Minister's approach on this issue. The Supreme Court-the highest legal authority in Britain and Northern Ireland does not believe that there is even a basis for a Supreme Court hearing of Edwin Poots' arguments."
Kieran McCarthy, Alliance MLA, said: "Edwin Poots' position as Health Minister has been seriously undermined by successive legal failures over adoption by civil partners and the ban on gay men donating blood."
Green MLA Steven Agnew said: "Surely questions must now be asked about his competency as a Minister especially since his continual trips to court to try to push his own agenda is at the expense of the public purse?"
© UTV News