Austria Legalizes Adoption By Same-Sex Couples, Won’t Let Them Get Married

family1With the passage of a brand new law on August 1, Austria became the 13 European nation to legally recognize the adoption of a child by unmarried same-sex parents. An amendment to the Austrian Civil Code was passed on July 4, following a recommendation from the European Court of Human Rights.

The case was previously brought to the Austrian Supreme Court, who ruled that unmarried same-sex couples could not jointly adopt a child because article 182§2 of the Austrian Civil Code blatantly stated that couples adopting children should consist of “parents of opposite gender.” The unnamed plaintiffs initially filed their first complaint in 2007.

via Pride News:

On 19 February 2013, the Court decided that Austria violated Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) in conjunction with Article 8 (the right to respect private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Court concluded that “the Government has failed to adduce particularly weighty and convincing reasons to show that excluding second-parent adoption in a same-sex couple, while allowing that possibility in an unmarried different-sex couple, was necessary for the protection of the family in the traditional sense or for the protection of the interests of the child. The distinction is therefore incompatible with the Convention”.

Currently, same-sex marriage is still not recognized by the Austrian government. Same-sex couples may file for a “registered partnership” and be married within the country, but do not have access to the same government marital benefits as heterosexual couples do.

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