Menu

InstagramTwitterYouTubeFacebookSnapchat
Globe Icon
Current Affairs

Greece allows gay couples to foster children in landmark move

Josh Jackman May 10, 2018
two womn kiss as they take part in the annual Gay Pride parade in Athens, on June 13, 2015. Greece's radical-left government on June 10, 2015, proposed a bill to grant same-sex couples the right to a civil union, two years after the European Court of Human Rights condemned the country's existing legislation as discriminatory. AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINIS (Photo credit should read ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

(ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty)

Gay couples will now be able to foster children in Greece.

The groundbreaking legislation was passed by 161 votes to 103 on May 9.

It will enable same-sex partners who are in civil partnerships to become foster parents – though adoption is still off-limits for gay people.

People parade in the street during the 6th Gay Pride march of Athens, on June 10, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / Eleftherios Elis        (Photo credit should read ELEFTHERIOS ELIS/AFP/Getty Images)
(ELEFTHERIOS ELIS/AFP/Getty)

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras welcomed the result of the vote.

Syriza, his left-wing ruling party, supported the passing of the bill despite opposition from many in the junior coalition party, the right-wing Independent Greeks.

Tsipras said: “Fostering provides for the return of the child to its natural parents, who must retain contact with the child during its fostering time.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras delivers a speech during a parliamentary session in Athens on December 10, 2016.  / AFP / Angelos Tzortzinis        (Photo credit should read ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
(ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty)

“It would not be an exaggeration to say that fostering is an act of altruism, solidarity, and service of those who choose it,” he added, according to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

Greece long lagged behind the rest of Europe in terms of LGBT rights, but has caught up somewhat in the past three years.

In 2015, Tsipras issued an unprecedented apology to the LGBT community – as he passed the law which gave same-sex couples legal recognition.

Two men waving flags kiss during the  annual Gay Pride parade  in central Athens on June 13, 2015.  Greece's radical-left government on June 10, 2015, proposed a bill to grant same-sex couples the right to a civil union, two years after the European Court of Human Rights condemned the country's existing legislation as discriminatory. AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINIS        (Photo credit should read ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
(ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty)

Speaking in Parliament after the vote, he said: “With the legalisation of civil partnership for same-sex couples, a cycle of backwardness and shame for the Greek state is closing.

“[It is one] of denial and marginalization of a large part of our fellow citizens, who were not allowed to live together with their partner and enjoying basic rights and which led the Greece to convictions by the European Court of Human Rights.”

Marriage equality has still not come to Greece, but other steps have been taken in the name of progress.

Two women take part in the annual Gay Pride parade in Athens, on June 13, 2015.  Greece's radical-left government on June 10, 2015, proposed a bill to grant same-sex couples the right to a civil union, two years after the European Court of Human Rights condemned the country's existing legislation as discriminatory. AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINIS        (Photo credit should read ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
(ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty)

In 2016, the Parliament passed a law which expanded the rights of LGBT people, including ensuring equality in the workplace regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

And in 2017, lawmakers made it radically easier for transgender people to legally transition.

The new law removed the need for trans people in the country to undergo sterilisation in order to have their gender legally recognised.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is seen during a parliamentary session in Athens on December 10, 2016.  / AFP / Angelos Tzortzinis        (Photo credit should read ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
(ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty)

The law affects anyone aged 17 and older, and children between the age of 15 and 17 also have access to the legal gender recognition process.

However, they still have to obtain a certificate from a medical council.

People carry placards, flags and balloons during the 6th annual Gay Pride march in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on June 17, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / SAKIS MITROLIDIS        (Photo credit should read SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images)
(SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty)

In addition, trans people still need to be single to access the process, possibly forcing some couples to divorce against their will.

And a judge has to decide if the person’s gender expression/presentation matches their gender marker before legal recognition is granted.

More: Europe, Europe, fostering, Greece, Greece, Law, Politics, same sex couples

Click to comment

Swipe sideways to view more posts!

Dismiss

Loading ...

Close icon