Sunday, February 24, 2013

German Constitutional Court expands adoption rights to same-sex couples

The German Constitutional Court, the highest court of Germany, has just ruled that any people should be allowed to adopt a child already adopted by his/her partner before, and has declared that the same-sex legal couples have the same right, otherwise would be discriminatory.  

"In marriage as in a civil partnership, adoption provides the child in the same way with legal security and material advantages in terms of care, support and inheritance law", has said the court. "The exclusion of successive adoption by registered partners violates the general principle of equality", has added.

That means, if one of the legal couple's member has adopted a child then his/her partner will can adopt that child too, which is called "successive adoption", and don't mind if the partners have the same sex.

However, the same-sex couples are not allowed to marry in Germany and they can only form civil unions. For that reason, althought the court has expanded the successive adoption right to the same-sex legal couples, for now they can not adopt in common because that right is still only allowed to married couples.

There is another recent court decision in similar sense. The European Court of Human Rights ruled against Austria's decision to deny a lesbian woman the right to adopt her longtime partner's son. The court, located in Strasbourg (France), found there was no persuasive reason to treat the same-sex couple differently from an heterosexual couple in the child's adoption. The ruling will force to change Austrian resolutions in identical cases.

The judges of German Constitutional Court

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