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First adoptions by Swedish gay couples recognised

October 13, 2003

STOCKHOLM — Authorities in Sweden have formally recognised the first two cases of gay couples adopting children, following a change in the law which came into effect in February.

The TT news agency said that two lesbians in Umeaa in the northeast of the country had become the legal mothers of a little girl, the biological daughter of one of them.

In Stockholm two men had been recognised as co-fathers of a little girl adopted in the United States in 1998. Hitherto the Swedish courts had refused recognition but the new law, voted in June 2002, changed the situation.

In general, though, the new law has not made a great difference.

Since few Swedish children are available for adoption most are brought in from overseas, in particular from China, Colombia and South Korea.

The six organisations authorised to bring in such children fear the supply could dry up if the authorities in the countries of origin think the children will end up in homosexual households.

The National Federation for the Equality of Sexes (RFSL) has protested that gay couples are being ostracised and is contemplating establishing its own agency. –Sapa-AFP

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