TV & Radio
Belgium votes in gay adoption
Ben Townley, GAY.COM
Friday 2 December, 2005 13:03
Belgium’s parliament has voted in favour of giving lesbian and gay people adoption rights, as the country moves even further towards full equality.
The country’s Chamber of Representatives voted 77-62 in favour of the bill, according to the Reuters news agency.
It must now be backed by the Senate, which is expected to approve the bill early next year.
Although the country has already legalised full gay marriage, the debate over adoption rights had split the country’s parliament along political lines.
Left wing groups, on the whole, showed support for the bill while the country’s Flemish Interest and Christian Democrats party both opposed it.
Campaigners welcomed the move, saying the laws would give formal recognition of existing family structures.
"Gay parenthood is already a reality,” Mieke Stessens of Belgium's Gay Federation told the Telegraph newspaper.
“We just want to give it the correct legal framework. With the vote last night, we've come a step closer."
Belgium is already well regarded on its gay equality stance after it legalised gay marriage in 2002. At the time, it was only the second country to do so, after the Netherlands.
Since then Spain and Canada have approved gay marriage.
Yesterday, South Africa’s highest court told the country’s government that its ban on marriage was illegal and urged for new laws within 12 months.
Belgian parliament approves adoption rights for gay couples
www.chinaview.cn 2005-12-03 03:15:50
BRUSSELS, Dec. 2 (Xinhuanet) - The Belgian Parliament on Friday approved legislation granting gay couples the right to adopt children.
The vote followed a tense debate in the Parliament. However, the final tally of 77 votes for and 62 opposed (with seven abstentions) was a bigger majority than expected.
The legislation has not been officially passed, but will now head to the Senate for further debate.
In the meantime, the gay and lesbian lobby group Holebifederatie was exceptionally pleased with the passing of the legislation.
"A lot of gay couples wanting children are now very pleased," the group's spokeswoman Mieke Stessens said.
Stessens also said his organization will continue lobbying to ensure the legislation is not delayed in the Senate.
|| News ||
Belgian parliament approves equal adoption rights for gay couples
Gay rights activists on Friday welcomed a vote by the Belgian chamber of representatives granting gay couples equal rights in adoption. Lawmakers voted 77–62 Thursday night in favor of the bill, which now goes to senate for final approval, likely in March.
"Gay parenthood is already a reality. We just want to give it the correct legal framework. With the vote last night, we've come a step closer," Mieke Stessens of Belgium's Gay Federation told VRT news. However, Stessens said she feared a number of senators would try and delay the implementation of the bill.
Socialist, Liberal, and Green parliamentarians voted mostly in favor of the bill, while Christian Democrats and the far-right Flemish Interest party voted against.
If the law is adopted by the senate, Belgium will become the fourth European Union member state allowing same-sex couples equal rights in adoption, after Spain, the Netherlands, and Sweden. (AP)
Last Updated: Friday, 2 December 2005, 11:11 GMT
Belgium backs gay adoption plans - BBC
(Photo) Supporters of the bill were at parliament for the vote
Belgian MPs have backed plans to allow adoption by gay couples, two years after legalising same-sex marriage.
The lower house of Belgium's parliament voted 77-62 in favour of the measure, which must also pass the upper house.
If fully approved, Belgium will become the third EU country, after Sweden and Spain, to allow same-sex adoption.
Belgium campaigners say that many children are currently cared for by homosexual couples, but without adequate legal protection.
The law will grant gay couples in Belgium the same rights as heterosexual couples, allowing them to adopt children from anywhere in the world.
In Germany and Denmark, homosexual adoption is limited to the partners' biological children.
Final approval by the upper house, or Senate, is expected in March.
Two years ago, Belgium voted to approve same-sex marriage, with an estimated 5,000 ceremonies held since then.
A string of other European countries also allow gay marriage or full civil rights, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and other Scandinavian nations.
Britain will legalise "civil partnerships" this month.
Belgium Closer To Allowing Gays To Adopt
by Malcolm Thornberry, 365Gay.com European Bureau Chief
Posted: December 2, 2005 11:00 am ET
(Brussels) The Belgian government has moved a step closer to allowing same-sex couples to co-parent.
The lower house of Parliament has approved legislation to permit gay and lesbian couples to adopt and for both partners to be recognized as the legal parent of each other's children.
It not only permits co-parenting but would also ensure the children in same-sex households would have the same rights to inheritance and succession as children of heterosexual couples.
The bill passed 77 to 62. If it gains approval in the upper house it would make Belgium the third member of the European Union to allow co-parenting, after Spain and Sweden.
The measure is expected to be voted on in the Senate in March.
Earlier this year in committee hearings on same-sex couple adoptions psychologists testified that children raised in same-sex households do about the same as those raised in traditional homes. (story)
Gay and lesbian couples in Belgium won the right to marry in 2003 (story) but, the law did not provide for adoption. Since then LGBT rights groups in the country have been fighting for adoption rights.
According to a recent study by the University of Ghent in Flanders, 42 percent of gays and lesbians in Belgium would like to have children. Among lesbians the figure climbed to 55 percent.
There have been about 5,000 same-sex marriages in Belgium in the past two years. The only other EU countries to permit gay marriage are the Netherlands and Spain.
Most other EU countries allow varying recognition of same-sex relationships. Britain will legalize civil partnerships this month.