Belgium braces for gay adoption debate
December 29, 2003
BRUSSELS — Belgium, which legalised same-sex marriages in January this
year, is set for a debate on the right of gays to adopt children as
the Flemish liberal democratic party of Prime Minister Guy
Verhofstadt readies to unveil a draft law to that effect.
The bill is to be officially presented Monday by party president
Karel De Gucht and the MP behind the draft, Martine Taelman.
Besides the liberal democrats, the draft will likely receive
support from the Francophone and Flemish socialist parties, members
of the majority, as well as the opposition Francophone Greens of
Ecolo, Belgian media reported.
Such backing would ensure a small majority in favour of the
adoption of the law in federal parliament.
Belgium became only the second European country to allow gay
marriage after the Netherlands, and at least 139 gay couples have
registered since the law was introduced earlier this year.
Gay couples now enjoy most of the same rights as heterosexual
married partners, apart from those related to adoption -- meaning
that in a lesbian couple the biological mother would remain legally
a single parent. –Sapa-AFP
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