International couples cry foul over baby bond inequality in Spain
Mothers who are not Spanish or have not legally resided in Spain for more than two years are not applicable to the EUR 2,500 baby bond.1 August 2008
MADRID - On 4 July 2007, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero announced that his government would give EUR 2,500 to all families legally resident in Spain for every new child they have.
"All," however, does not apparently include children born to foreign mothers who have lived here for less than two years - even if the father is Spanish.
In what a growing band of critics are calling a clear case of discrimination, hundreds of heterosexual couples have been refused the so-called "baby bond" because the mother is not a Spanish national or has not legally resided in Spain for more than two years, regardless of the nationality or residency status of the father.
"This is not a benefit for the baby but for the mother - in reality it's a mommy bond," complains Oscar Martínez, the Spanish father of 10-month-old Osquitar who got no money because his mother is a Peruvian who arrived in Spain recently.
In addition, homosexual couples who have or adopt children are allowed to choose whose name goes on the check, an option not offered to heterosexual couples.
People affected by the discriminatory rules have set up an association to lobby the government to change the legislation, which they estimate may affect 12,000 couples nationwide.
[El Pais / Maruxa Ruiz Del Arbol / Expatica]