Hungarian Parliament approves unusual adoption bill

Hungary’s Parliament on Nov. 9 passed a new Civil Code that extends second-parent adoption rights to same-sex couples who live together informally but not to same-sex couples who are in an official registered partnership.

According to the group Háttér Society for LGBT People, under the new law: “Individuals can adopt children regardless of marital status — whether single, married, registered partnered or cohabiting. … Joint adoption is available only for married couples. Second-parent adoption is available for married and cohabiting couples regardless of gender, but not for registered same-sex partners. … This highly unreasonable and discriminatory allocation of rights is a result of political considerations: By addressing cohabiting couples, socialist politicians could avoid talking specifically about expanding the rights of same-sex couples.”

In order for one member of a registered same-sex couple to adopt the other’s child, the couple would have to divorce, then adopt, then re-register, said Háttér’s Tamás Dombos.

The new rules take effect May 1 unless blocked by conservative political parties that oppose the rules and are expected to win next spring’s elections.

By Rex Wockner


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