Wait. So Gays Can’t Adopt In Uruguay?


Did everyone get prematurely excited about a new law in Uruguay granting gays and lesbians adoption rights? Gay advocates there cheerleaded a new law signed by President Tabare Vazquez (pictured), which supposedly reformed the nation’s adoption rules. Except a closer look reveals it’s not explicitly in our favor.

Sure, Vazquez helped end a ban on gays in the military and granted ’em civil union rights, but the adoption law isn’t so clear cut.

But nowhere in the law does it specifically say that homosexual couples have a right to adopt. And in some places, it suggests otherwise — for example by specifying how the child should take a mother and father’s surnames.

Lawyers, judges and even the law’s own authors now have doubts about how the law will be applied.

[…] The new law would drop a requirement that children can only be adopted by legally married couples or single parents.

Deputy Margarita Percovich, who wrote the law, acknowledged that it doesn’t directly mention same-sex adoptions, but said it would enable them because gays and lesbians already can legally form civil unions, and “the law enables couples in civil unions to adopt children without impediment.”

But Attorney Juan A. Ramirez, an expert in civil rights law, told the leading newspaper El Pais that judges still won’t be able to approve same-sex adoptions, because this intent isn’t explicitly described in the law.

“Any objective interpretation of the law would conclude that either they forgot to mention that gay couples can adopt, or they didn’t want to mention it. They didn’t want to take the bull by the horns and resolve it clearly — they left it undefined,” he said.

Sorry, Elton, but it looks like a South American backup plan might be off the table, too.