Adoption Legalized in Germany and Uruguay

Timothy Kincaid

August 27th, 2009

Gay marriage – or some version of partner recognition – are at the front burner of gay rights in the US. And while a few states disallow adoptions by gay couples or individuals, most states – even socially conservative states – allow at least one half of a gay couple to adopt children.

Interestingly, in the rest of the world marriage rights are less of an issue than adoption rights. Many nations that offer some measure of couple recognition to not allow adoption by those gay couples.

But now Germany, which has recognized “Life Partnerships” since 2001, will allow adoption (Lifesite – an anti-gay news source)

Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court has declared it legal for homosexual partners to adopt children. The court decided in favour of a woman in the southern city of Schweinfurt who wanted to adopt the now three-year-old child of her female partner, with the consent of the father and social services.

Homosexuals were allowed by a 2001 law to register their liaisons as “life partnerships”. Under the law, persons in such legal arrangements are allowed to adopt the biological children of their partners, but the law still prohibits adoption where there is no legal or biological relationship.

And it appears that Uruguay, which has recognized civil unions since 2007, will join them (Herald Sun)

LAWMAKERS in Uruguay have voted to allow adoptions by gays and lesbians in a first for Latin America, an opposition deputy says.

“They just approved it by 40 votes out of 53,” said Jaime Trobo of the opposition National Party today.

There are still formalities, but it is assumed that this will become law.

Lindoro Almaviva

August 27th, 2009

Uruguay kiddos, Uruguay.

Cole

August 27th, 2009

Congrats gay people of Germany and Uruguay.

Burr

August 27th, 2009

Meanwhile in Florida they’re still trying to figure out this crap in court.

http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202433375336&rss=newswire

Jutta Zalud

August 27th, 2009

Adoption of the partner’s child (“step-child-adoption”) has been legal in Germany since 1.1.2005.

A judge in an “Amtsgericht” (district court? Amtsgericht is the lowest court in the German court system) thought the relevant provision in the Lebenspartnerschaftsgesetz was unconstitutional in view of Art 6 of the Grundgesetz (German constitution), which protects marriage and the family. So this judge asked the constitutional court for a decision. The constituional court dismissed the motion on procedural grounds but also said on the merits that there is no priority in the constitution of biological parents over social parents.

For those who read German the press-release by the Bundesverfassungsgericht:
http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/pressemitteilungen/bvg09-098.html
and the decision http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/entscheidungen/lk20090810_1bvl001509.html

It is not yet possible for a same-sex couple in Germany to adopt a child as a couple, but an amendment to the relevant law is presently being discussed.

And yes: adoption is a much more contested and emotional question in many European countries than same-sex partnership. Even in those nordic countries where some kind of legal partnership for same-sex couples has been in force since the late 1980ies, early 1990ies, adoption was allowed much later. Many people who don’t mind what two adult persons do with each other have big problems imagining two gay fathers caring for a child.

Ben

August 28th, 2009

That’s all true Jutta, but, many people also have a problem with seeing women as equal to men, or as black people being equal to whites. The real question is why should we care what such ignorant people think?

Jutta Zalud

August 28th, 2009

@Ben: We need not care, but if those ignorant people happen to hold a majority in law-making bodies we have to find ways to either make them change their minds or at least change their actions.

Timothy (TRiG)

August 28th, 2009

From The Netherlands: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qf0puHJ-KM

TRiG.

Timothy Kincaid

August 28th, 2009

Jutta,

Thank you for the clarification and additional information.

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