Lesbian and Gay Adoptions Approved in Uruguay and Germany

Just a couple of quick notes about international developments.  

First in Uruguay, one house of parliament approved legislation permitting adoption by lesbian and gay couples.   The Senate is expected to follow suit shortly   Uruguay would be the first South American nation to approve adoptions by lesbian and gay couples. 

In opposing the measure, the archbishop of Montevideo said “It’s not about religion, philosophy or sociology. It’s something which is mainly about the respect of human nature itself.”  The invocation of nature as a basis for opposing lesbian and gay parentage is noteworthy.   I’ve written before about the unthinking invocation of what’s natural. 

A few days before Uruguay’s action, the high court in Germany affirmed the rights of a lesbian to adopt her partner’s child, creating a legal two-mother family.  A lower court had denied the adoption, reasoning that it undermined the rights of the (presumably male) biological parent.  

In rejecting this reasoning, the high court instead noted that the biological progenitor was not necessarily the parent.   Being a parent, the court seems to say, is more than DNA.  This, of course, is entirely consistent with much I’ve said here.  

Both the reports I’ve referred to here are sketchy and if anyone can add more details, do have at it. 

It’s a gain for lesbian couples in Germany, but one of limited scope.   Lesbian and gay people are not allowed to adopt children they are not related to, so presumably a lesbian or gay couple could not adopt a child that was not already the child of one of them.

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2 responses to “Lesbian and Gay Adoptions Approved in Uruguay and Germany

  1. This is big step towards recognizing LGBT rights. Every human being is entitled to his or her rights.
    The desire to have a baby is innate, whether be it through adoption or surrogacy. A family sometimes seems incomplete without a baby. Gradually people are realizing that gays and lesbians are also human beings.

    • While I agree that this is a step forward, I’m not yet prepared to agree with what I think is an implicit assumption in your post–that there is a right to be a parent.

      I’ll certainly agree that you cannot deny some people the right to adopt simply because the happen to be lesbian or gay. Similiarly, if ART is available, I don’t think you can deny it to people because they are LGBT or single. But these are essentially arguments about equal treatment for different groups of people (equal protection, in law jargon) rather than arguments that there is an absolute right to do these things (that would be substantive due process).

      I think there is general agreement with you on this point, by the way–that there is some right to parent. But it’s something I’d like to think about a bit more carefully sometime soon.

      Practically, we come to the same place. It’s clear that both adoption and ART will continue to be available and so, given my fairness principle, they must be available to LGBT people.

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