Swiss Rainbow Families welcome the decision of the National Council

14 Dec 2012

Rainbow Families

(via our friends at Rainbow Families in Switzerland...)

On this Thursday, 13 December 2012, the Swiss National Council approved the drafting of a law designed to protect several thousand children growing up in rainbow families (families in which at least one parent identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) in Switzerland.

We welcome this decision, which will close a significant gap in the law - most of our children grow up with two parents, but until now only one of them has been recognized. The aim of the law, specifically, will be to allow a person to adopt the child or children of his or her life partner, provided the second biological parent is unknown or deceased or has agreed to relinquish his or her parental rights and duties, and provided an adoption represents the best solution for the child's welfare.

The new legal provision ensures that a child growing up in a rainbow family will be able to stay with his or her second parent in case the biological parent passes away. In case the second parent passes away, the child will be entitled to a share of the inheritance and to an orphan's pension. Furthermore, he or she will have the guarantee to be able to keep up the contact with the second parent in case of a separation, and will be entitled to child support. In other words, the new law will ensure that these children are protected to the same degree as other children.

Recall that Switzerland already completes roughly 250 second-parent adoptions every year (e.g. a stepfather adopts his wife's child if the child's biological father is absent). But until now, children growing up in same-sex households have been denied the right to a second parent simply because of their parents' sexual orientation. The National Council has now decided to redress this deplorable state of affairs.

The Swiss Rainbow Families Organisation would like to thank Parliament for taking a step in the right direction and especially those Parliamentarians who took into account the importance of this issue for several thousand children.