LGBT adoption in Europe

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Legal status of adoption by same-sex couples in Europe:
  Joint adoption legal
  Stepparent adoption legal1
  No laws allowing adoption by same-sex couples
1In Switzerland the law on step-child adoption is yet to go into effect.
2In Italy step-child adoption is only legal by court order.

Debate has occurred throughout Europe over proposals to legalise same-sex parental adoption as well as step-child adoption.

Currently some types of adoption by same-sex couples are legal in 22 of the 56 countries and in 6 of the 6 dependent territories in Europe. Full joint adoption by same-sex couples is legal in seventeen European countries, namely Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Another four, namely, Estonia, Italy, Slovenia, and Switzerland permit step-child adoption in which the registered partner can adopt the biological and, in some cases, the adopted child of his or her partner. In Croatia, a life partner may become a partner-guardian over their partner's child, which is to a great extent comparable to step-child adoption. As for the dependent territories, joint adoption by same-sex couples is legal in Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Guernsey, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, the Isle of Man and Jersey. Several countries are currently considering permitting full joint or step-child adoption by same-sex couples.

Current situation[edit]

Joint adoption[edit]

Jurisdiction Entry into force Notes
[1] Andorra Andorra 25 December 2014
[2] Austria Austria 1 January 2016
[3] Belgium Belgium 30 June 2006
[4] Denmark Denmark 1 July 2010
[7] Finland Finland 1 March 2017
[8] France France 18 May 2013
  • Also applies to all French overseas territories
[9] Germany Germany 1 October 2017
[10] Iceland Iceland 27 June 2006
[11] Republic of Ireland Ireland 6 May 2016
[12] Luxembourg Luxembourg 1 January 2015
[13] Malta Malta 17 April 2014
[14][15] Netherlands Netherlands 1 April 2001
  • The law initially applied to the European Netherlands only.
  • In 2012 its scope was expanded to include the Caribbean Netherlands.
[16] Norway Norway 1 January 2009
[17] Portugal Portugal 1 March 2016
[18] Spain Spain 3 July 2005
[19] Sweden Sweden 1 February 2003
[20][21] United Kingdom United Kingdom 30 December 2005
  • The law initially applied to England and Wales only.
  • In Scotland a separate law came into force on 28 September 2009.[22]
  • In Northern Ireland since 11 December 2013[23]
  • In Isle of Man since 2 April 2011[24]
  • In Jersey since 2 April 2012[25]
  • In Gibraltar since 28 March 2014[26]
  • In Guernsey since 3 April 2017[27]

Non-European Territories:

  • In both Bermuda and the Pitcairn Islands since 2015.[28][29][30]
  • In the Falkland Islands, Ascension Island, and Tristan da Cunha since 2017.[31]
  • Not available in other overseas territories

Step-child adoption[edit]

Jurisdiction Entry into force Notes
[32] Estonia Estonia 1 January 2016
  • Only parties to a registered cohabitation agreement may adopt. However, cohabitation agreements cannot be registered.
[33] Italy Italy 2016
  • Court of Cassation ruled that step-child adoption by LGBT partners is allowed in some circumstances
[34][35] Slovenia Slovenia July 2011
  • In July 2011, The Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs stated that the existing law allows for second-parent adoption.
[36] Switzerland Switzerland 1 January 2018

Other[edit]

Jurisdiction Entry into force Notes
[37] Croatia Croatia 5 August 2014
  • "Partner-guardianship"

Future legislation[edit]

Step-child adoption[edit]

Czech Republic Czech Republic: In September 2014, a group of deputies introduced a bill to allow step-child adoption by a partner of the same-sex.[38] In October, the government decided to not take a stance on the bill.[39] In June 2016 the Constitutional Court ruled that people living in registered partnership are allowed to adopt children.[40] Same-sex couples still have not access to joint and step-child adoption but one of partners can adopt, even if lives in partnership. Legislation to allow partial or step-child adoption rights was introduced by the government to the Parliament of the Czech Republic on 8 November 2016. A vote on the bill will happen sometime in mid-2017.[41][42]

San Marino San Marino: In March 2016, the United Left announced a proposal for a gender-neutral partnership bill with adoption rights. The junior coalition partner, the Party of Socialists and Democrats, expressed their openness to same-sex parenting and may submit their own bill with step-child adoption rights.[43]

Public opinion[edit]

According to pollster Gallup Europe, women, younger generations, and the highly educated are more likely to support same-sex marriage and adoption rights for gay people than other demographics.[44]

In the United Kingdom in 2007, 64% of people said they thought gay couples should be allowed to adopt and 32% said they should not. 55% of respondents thought that male couples should be able to adopt and 59% of people thought that lesbian couples should be able to adopt.[45]

Opinion polls for same-sex adoption
Country Pollster Year For Against Don't Know/Neutral/No answer/Other
 Austria IMAS 2015 46%[46] 48%[46] 6%
 Belgium Ipsos 2013 67%[47] 33%[47] 0%[47]
 Bulgaria Eurobarometer 2006 12%[48] 68%[48] 20%[48]
 Cyprus Eurobarometer 2006 10%[48] 86%[48] 4%[48]
 Czech Republic CVVM 2016 48%[49] 43%[49] 9%[49]
 Denmark YouGov 2012 59%[50] 31%[50] 11%[50]
 Estonia ASi 2012 26%[51] 66%[51] 8%[51]
 Finland Taloustutkimus 2013 51%[52] 42%[52] 7%[52]
 France BVA 2015 57%[53] 41%[53] 2%[53]
 Germany YouGov 2015 57%[54] 35%[54] 8%
 Greece DiaNeosis 2017 26%[55] 72%[55] 2%[55]
 Hungary Eurobarometer 2006 13%[48] 81%[48] 6%[48]
 Ireland Red C Poll 2011 60%[56] - -
 Italy Demos & Pi 2016 37%[57] 60%[57] 3%[57]
 Latvia Eurobarometer 2006 8%[48] 89%[48] 3%[48]
 Lithuania Eurobarometer 2006 12%[48] 82%[48] 6%[48]
 Luxembourg Politmonitor 2013 55%[58] 44%[58] 1%[58]
 Malta Misco 2014 20%[59] 80%[60] -
 Netherlands Eurobarometer 2006 69%[61] 27%[61] 4%[61]
 Norway YouGov 2012 54%[50] 34%[50] 12%[50]
 Poland Ipsos 2017 16%[62] 80%[63] 4%[64]
 Portugal Expresso 2014 40.4%[65] 39.1%[65] 20.5%
 Romania Eurobarometer 2006 8%[48] 82%[48] 10%[48]
 Russia VTsIOM 2015 3%[66] 88% 9%
 Serbia GSA 2010 8%[67] 79% 13%
 Slovakia Eurobarometer 2006 12%[48] 84%[48] 4%[48]
 Slovenia Delo Stik 2015 38%[68] 55%[68] 7%[68]
 Spain Ipsos 2013 73%[47] 27%[47] 0%[47]
 Sweden Ipsos 2013 78%[47] 21%[47] 1%[47]
  Switzerland Pink Cross 2016 50%[69] 39%[69] 11%[69]
 Ukraine Gay Alliance of Ukraine 2013 7% [70] 68%[70] 12%
13% would allow some exceptions[70]
 United Kingdom Ipsos 2013 65%[47] 35%[47] 0%[47]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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