NELFA welcomes European parliament resolution calling on free movement for all families

7 Apr 2014


The Network of European LGBT Families Associations (NELFA) welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament on 3 April 2014, of a non-binding resolution on justice, freedom and security in Europe. NELFA welcomes in particular the resolution's strong wording on the freedom of movement of all families.

In its report on the mid-term review of the Stockholm Programme, the European Parliament criticised the European Commission for its failure to fulfill a previous pledge that it would facilitate free movement for all families, including proposing a EU law to facilitate the mutual recognition of the effects of civil status documents. Civil status documents (like birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.) aren’t automatically recognised from one Member State to the next. As a result, citizens may find it impossible to justify their civil status. This is particularly important for rainbow families.

Maria von Känel, NELFA's President said “legislation allowing the mutual recognition of the effects of civil status documents in the European Union, would mean that a birth certificate or an adoption decision in one Member State would be recognised in another Member State, providing our children with the full legal protection they deserve".

Lisa Green, NELFA Vice-President also said, "This would not introduce same-sex unions or new adoption rights for same-sex couples into countries that don’t want it at the moment, we know the EU cannot do this. However, this would also be about respecting the sovereignty of countries where these laws exist”.

Luis Amorim, NELFA Board member, added: "My husband and I are the legal fathers of our daughter. Our adoption documents are recognised in Belgium, where we live, as well as everywhere else in the European Union where same-sex couples can adopt jointly. The best interest of my child, and of all children, is to have their families legally recognised no matter where they live". 

NELFA hopes the European Commission will heed the call by the European Parliament and do the right thing for all families and all children living in the European Union.

About NELFA:

NELFA is the European platform of LGBT families associations, bringing together LGBT parents and parents-to-be from all over Europe. NELFA currently represents 22 organisations in 15 European countries with more than 10.000 members. NELFA is a member of ILGA-Europe.