Gay couples win foreign adoption rights
9 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — Gay couples in the Netherlands have been promised legislative change allowing them — in theory at least — to adopt children from other countries.
9 March 2005
AMSTERDAM — Gay couples in the Netherlands have been promised legislative change allowing them — in theory at least — to adopt children from other countries.
Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner said the fact that this possibility does not currently exist amounts to discrimination. The Christian Democrat CDA minister also told MPs he is prepared to adjust legislation to amend the situation.
But Donner said the matter was not urgent and he would not present a proposal to the Dutch Parliament before the summer recess, news service NOS reported on Wednesday.
He also told MPs during a debate in parliament that the lobby for such a right was much ado about nothing because other countries will not be prepared to co-operate with gay couples adopting a child.
The minister informed MPs two weeks ago that he was prepared to change legislation if there was at least one nation from which gay couples could adopt a child. "That condition has not been met to the present day," he said.
Parliament was not satisfied and a majority of MPs demanded that Donner act more swiftly.
The Democrat D66, Labour PvdA and Liberal VVD are to submit a joint bill in the near future that would allow foreign adoptions by gay couples. The proposal can count on support from the green-left GroenLinks and Christian Democrat CDA.
Since the legalisation of gay marriages in the Netherlands in 2002, gay couples also have the right to adopt a Dutch child. Unlike heterosexual couples, gay couples cannot adopt from another country.
Nevertheless, they can circumvent the law, with some countries allowing single parents to adopt a child. In this case it does not matter if the "single parent" is married.
Television personality Paul de Leeuw and his partner Stephan Nugter availed of the gap in the law to adopt two children from the US in recent years.
Meanwhile, the D66, PvdA and VVD also want to strengthen the legal position of lesbian couples who have a child. Presently, the non-biological mother of the child must officially adopt the child to have any parental rights.
The three parties believe that women whose lesbian partner give birth to a child during their marriage or registered partnership should have equal rights of a heterosexual partner who acknowledges his child.
The legislative proposal also states that the maximum age that people can adopt children, currently 46, should be raised or eliminated from existing adoption legislation.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news