Gay couples in Portugal win limited adoption rights

LISBON Fri May 17, 2013 9:40pm IST

Related Topics

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's parliament on Friday handed same-sex couples the right to adopt the children or foster children of one partner, a partial victory for equality campaigners that fell short of their call for full adoption rights.

The co-adoption law scraped through with a majority of just five votes in the 230-seat Lisbon assembly, prompting long applause from the gallery. Nine deputies abstained and as many as 28 did not show up for the vote.

Activists hailed the biggest step forward for gay rights since Portugal became the eighth country to allow nationwide same-sex marriages in 2010, breaking with the Catholic nation's predominantly conservative image.

"It was a super-important, fundamental approval as it concerns the human rights of the children and not just the couples," said Paulo Corte-Real, head the country's gay, lesbian and transgender rights association, ILGA.

He said the law would benefit children raised by same-sex couples by giving the children additional protection if their original parent died or became seriously ill.

Catholic Church leaders have opposed moves by some European countries to allow same-sex unions and adoption by gay couples, saying heterosexual marriage has an indispensable role in society.

France, which is mainly Catholic, last month followed 13 countries including Canada, Denmark, Sweden and most recently Uruguay and New Zealand in allowing gay and lesbian couples to tie the knot. The French law also authorized adoption.

The Portuguese bill, presented on the International Day Against Homophobia, still needs to be signed into law by conservative President Anibal Cavaco Silva, who enacted the same-sex marriage bill in 2010 but expressed his disapproval.

Another bill introduced by two left-wing parties that would have extended full adoption rights to gay couples failed to pass on Friday.

The ILGA took the Portuguese state to court after the European Court for Human Rights ruled in February that Austria's adoption laws discriminated against gay people on the issue of co-adoption.

"That case will continue until the law comes fully into force," said Corte-Real. "And we will keep fighting for wider adoptions. Both of today's votes show progress, even the rejection. Support for wider adoptions has grown since last year."

(Reporting by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Exit Polls

Exit Polls

BJP unlikely to form Jammu & Kashmir govt - polls.  Full Article 

Forceful Conversions

Forceful Conversions

BJP distances itself from religious conversions.  Full Article 

Photo

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Economic Pulse

Economic Pulse

Crank up public spending to revive growth - chief economic adviser.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India looks to sway Americans with nuclear power insurance plan  Full Article 

Down Under

Down Under

Magic Johnson inspires Australia to second test win.  Full Article 

Going International

Going International

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra sets sights on American TV.  Full Article 

India This Week

India This Week

Some of our best photos from this week.   Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage