European Parliament backs EU-wide recognition of same-sex adoptions

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The European Parliament has adopted a report backing EU-wide recognition of adoptions regardless of the parents’ sexual orientation.

The report, which was adopted last week by a vote of 533-41, paves the way for future EU legislation to permit “automatic cross-border recognition of domestic adoption orders” throughout the EU.

It notes that while “opinions still differ in the Member States as regards the principles that should govern the adoption process”, the current system can cause “significant problems for European families who move to another Member State after adopting a child, as the adoption may not be recognised, meaning that the parents may have trouble legally exercising their parental authority.”

The report also affirms that the principle of non-discrimination should be affirmed within adoption law, protecting the rights of same-sex parents under provisions of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Malin Bjork MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, said: “Today the European Parliament made clear that a family does not cease to be a family, simply by crossing a border.

“The broad support that this report received has given the Commission a clear mandate to ensure full freedom of movement, including for LGBTI families!”

Daniele Viotti MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, continued: “Too many rainbow families have been held back, due to heteronormative interpretations of ‘family’.

“Countries should cease to use ‘public order’ arguments to discriminate against same-sex families. It is time for legislation to be updated to reflect 21st century standards.”

The greatest opposition came from MEPs from France’s far-right Front National, which remains opposed to same-sex parenting. FN leader Marine Le Pen is expected to win the first round of France’s Presidential election in April.

MEPs from the UK’s Conservative Party and UK Independence Party largely abstained.

UKIP’s leader Paul Nuttall and former leader Nigel Farage were both absent for the vote.