New report documents rights of children in LGBT-led families

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The International Lesbian and Gay Association has launched a new report on the rights of children raised in lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans families in Europe.

The report documents the existing framework of legal protection of the rights of children in LGBT families at European level, analyses the many gaps in their protection, and makes recommendations for addressing these.

In 43 of 47 European countries, there is no way for same-sex parents to formalise their family relationships through marriage, and in the majority of countries there is still no legislative provision for recognising and protecting a child’s relationship with an LGBT co-parent.

“Many adults and their children across Europe are still denied the legal recognition of their families,” said Patricia Prendiville, executive director of ILGA-Europe.

“Their relationships based on love and care are still not considered valuable or equally respected.

“Most shockingly, in many European countries, children in LGBT families are not able to establish a legal link with their factual parents and face discrimination on the grounds of their birth status or the sexual orientation/gender identity of their parents.”

The Rights of Children Raised in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender Families: A European Perspective highlights the fact that international and national laws often fail to recognise the reality of children’s familial relationships, potentially jeopardising their legal security.

“While most children raised in non-traditional families share a degree of legal vulnerability with respect to their family ties, for children in LGBT families, such vulnerability is almost invariably a fact of life,” the report states.

“Even where the law does provide for some form of co-parent recognition that extends to LGBT families, the family rights and recognition those children enjoy are usually less complete than those enjoyed by children with married parents.

“Consequently, throughout most of Europe, the legal position of children raised in LGBT families does not accord with their social reality.

“We suggest that the time is right to address this issue within the Council of Europe, and to articulate a coherent and inclusive vision of family rights that specifically embraces the rights of children raised in LGBT families.”

A new exhibition designed to highlight the legal and social discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-led families was launched yesterday by ILGA-Europe.

Yesterday was International Human Rights Day and the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly.

ILGA-Europe, in cooperation with the European Parliament’s LGBT Rights Intergroup and Hélèn Goudin MEP, launched an exhibition of 12 families posters at the European Parliament entitled Different Families, Same Love.

The 12 posters highlight the challenges and issues LGBT families and their children face because of the lack of legal recognition, as well as the positive developments at European level advancing the legal situation for LGBT families and their children.