European and German high courts rule same-sex couples are regular parents

Published: February 19, 2013

Today two high courts in Europe ruled in favour of same-sex couples adopting children. Both judgments make clear that lesbian and gay couples provide children the same safety and stability as heterosexual couples do.

Council of Europe – GermanyIn the first decision, the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights considered the case X and others v. Austria. The court deemed that

    the Austrian Government had not provided any evidence to show that it would be detrimental to a child to be brought up by a same-sex couple or to have two mothers and two fathers for legal purposes.

The court’s highest chamber ruled that since unmarried different-sex couples could adopt one another’s children under Austrian law, there was no valid reason to prohibit same-sex couples from adopting one another’s children.

In today’s second decision, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court came to the same conclusion, decreeing that successive adoption ought to be open to same-sex couples under the same conditions as different-sex couples (although joint adoption remains unavailable).

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup, commented: “These timely rulings confirm what we have known for decades: LGBT people already live in families and have children, and are equally good families in comparison with heterosexual couples. Our children are loved, and grow up in stable families.”

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