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24.01.2011 14:45
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Ministry Confirms Changes to Gay Adoption Proposal

Ljubljana, 24 January (STA) - The Ministry of Labour, the Family and Social Affairs on Monday confirmed reports in Slovenian papers that the government will change the new family law bill. Under the new draft, gay couples would be allowed to adopt a child only if one of the partners is the child's biological parent.

Speaking to the press in Ljubljana, State Secretary Anja Kopac Mrak said that the new proposal, which had been already presented to coalition deputies, should also be acceptable to the opposition.

The move comes after debate on the controversial bill, facing strong opposition from centre-right parties for equalising same-sex unions with traditional families and allowing for gay adoption, got stuck at the parliamentary the Labour, Family and Social Affairs Committee last year.

Under the new proposal, marriage would be defined as a union of a man and a woman, while same-sex unions would have the status of a civil partnership.

"The lengthy procedure and the stalemate in which the bill has found itself led us to think about possible compromises in order to ensure the adoption of the document as soon as possible," Kopac Mrak told reporters.

According to her, the rights stemming from the status of a civil partnership are equal to the rights of married couples. There are no differences, except for child adoption, she added.

The definition of family meanwhile remains unchanged compared to the original version of the bill. A family comprises a child or children with one or two parents, which means that a civil partnership of two homosexual persons with a child is a family.

The biggest opposition party, the Democrats (SDS), said in a response that the definition of family must not be expanded to any community comprising children and adults, and that its meaning - "starting a family" - must be preserved.

When it comes to adoptions, the interest of the child must be in the focus, and not the interest of the adopter. If the ministry fails to take into consideration these two remarks, the SDS will not support the bill, the party added.

The ministry would like to see the Labour, Family and Social Affairs Committee to wrap up the debate on the bill in February or March and so that it can be passed in the National Assembly in April.

24.01.2011 14:45

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