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December 7, 2015

Czech court recognizes gay adoption

Ruling is seen as a breakthrough for LGBT rights

Prague, Dec 7 (ČTK) — The court in Prostějov, south Moravia, has delivered a breakthrough ruling when it recognized the adoption of 10-year-old twins by a Czech-French gay couple living in the US, daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD) writes.

The Czech man and his French husband adopted the boys as new-born babies in San Francisco, where they bring them up, MfD writes.

However, the children spent their holidays with their grandmother in the Czech Republic where the father, aged 41, had no rights to them.

“Now we can be granted Czech citizenship, thanks to which we can move to the Czech Republic,” the Czech father, who works as a financial director in the USA, is quoted as saying.

“Our travelling across Europe will be easier and the boys will have their door to Czech schools open,” he added.

“The twins feel very well in the Czech Republic and they would like to stay here,” the father said.

The breakthrough decision was enabled by a change in the legislation. A new law on international private law came into force under which Czech courts may recognize foreign rulings on adoption, MfD writes.

This happened in Prostějov, from where the Czech father comes, on Nov. 5, it adds, asking the question whether Czech gays and lesbians will now bring adopted children from abroad.

“The entire adoption procedure in the USA lasted three years and it was far from simple,” the father said.

In California, the authorities try to let children stay in institutional care for as short a time as possible, MfD writes.

Thanks to this, the new fathers accepted the twins in their joint care when they were only five months old, it adds.

The father said gay parenthood was now quite common in San Francisco.

“We never came across any negative reaction by the people around us. I do not know any statistics, but I could see gay parents in the city streets and playgrounds quite often,” he added.

The verdict opens the door to other couples’ adoptions abroad. It has put an end to the argument that in the Czech Republic it is impossible for same-sex parents to be recognized as parents of children, MfD writes.

The gays and lesbians in the Czech Republic have been trying in vain to have a special form of adoption recognized in which the partner of a biological parent could adopt the child.

An amendment to the registered partnership law has been in the Chamber of Deputies for over a year, but it has not been submitted to its agenda, MfD writes.

The legislation is mainly opposed by the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL). Its opponents speak about a homosexual lobby and there is a petition against adoption by same-sex couples in the Czech Republic.

“However, Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier (Social Democrats, ČSSD) and Justice Minister Robert Pelikán (ANO) have promised that if the debate in the Chamber of Deputies is not approved, they will try to draft a government-proposed amendment to the registered partnership law that would allow a new form of adoption,” lawyer Petr Kalla, who represents gay couples before Czech courts, is quoted as saying.

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