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Switzerland Made Adoption by Same-sex Couples (Slightly) Easier

(Blogmensgo, gay blog of June 1st, 2016) On May 30, 2016, the lower house of the Swiss Federal Assembly (parliament) agreed to a law allowing a person’s same-sex partner to adopt his or her children.

After acceptance of the text by the Council of States (upper house), 115 members of the National Council (lower house) voted for the new law and 65 against it. Ultimately, it will have to be validated by the Swiss government, the Swiss Federal Council.

Assembly Hall of the Swiss National Council

Assembly Hall of the Swiss National Council. ©Services du Parlement 3003 Berne.

The new law will allow a person’s same-sex partner to adopt that person’s children if the other biologic parent does not object. In the case of such “simple” adoptions, the filiation of the biologic parent remains unchanged for administrative purposes.

This law will extend a law from 2012 to allow adoptions by people who do not live in a registered partnership with their partner.

The adoptive parent has to be at least 28 years old and needs to have lived with the other partner for at least three years.

Also, the age difference between the adoptive parent and the child has to be between 16 and 45 years in general, although the law allows for some specific exceptions. Siblings may be adopted together in some cases, too.

Green council member Lisa Mazzone explained that “more than 25,000 unmarried couples raise children” and that the new law improves the well-being and legal certainty of children raised by same-sex parents.

As before in 2012, the right-wing parties tried to prevent and block this legislative initiative.

It is currently not known when the law will come into effect. Even after its validation, it may still be challenged by a referendum.

Comment: Even with this new law, registered gay and lesbian couples will still remain second-class citizens because they can neither marry nor adopt unrelated children.

Frank-S / MensGo

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