Parental rights to be extended for LGBT families in the Netherlands

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The government in the Netherlands is looking to change the law to take into account its 25,000 LGBT families, and issues faced by step-parents or sperm donors.

The extension would mean that children could have three or more parents, taking into account the biological parents of children of same-sex couples.

Wiebe Alkema, a spokesperson for the justice ministry said it “is going to investigate and see what the possibilities are for recognising three parents or more per family,” AFP reported.

The left-wing Green Party, the Liberal VVD and the Labour PvdA requested a report with the intention of amending a lesbian parenting bill.

Green MP Liesbeth van Tongeren commented on what has been the norm for legally recognising parents:

“Currently parenthood in the eyes of the law is almost always the consequence of biological parenthood,” the party said in a statement. She said “this does not represent the diversity of families in the Netherlands.”

“Often enough, the father of a child with lesbian parents also plays a role in the life of the child,” she said.

“How a family lives is more important than the biological lineage,” Van Tongeren added. “The bill should take into account what’s best for all concerned.”

The Netherlands currently has no legal recognition for step-parents, or sperm donors who may wish to be involved in the upbringing of their child.

In parliament, Junior Justice Minister, Fred Teveen, noted various potential practical objections to the bill being passed, but said that he would wait for the conclusions of the report.

The Netherlands was the first country to legalise equal marriage, back in 2001 and official statistics report that, by the end of 2010, 14,813 gay couples were married in the country,