The first same-sex second parent adoption case in Slovenia

Submitted by Tatjana Greif, SKUC-LL

The Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Affairs Republic of Slovenia took the groundbreaking decision after a dispute between the Center for Social Work and a lesbian woman who was requesting for adoption of the child of her partner who she lived together with. It is the first such case in Slovenia; it is of crucial importance, because also in case that the new Family Code adopted in June (which explicitly allows the adoption of a biological child of a same sex partner). The Family Code can be rejected by a public referendum, which has been requested by a catholic civil society initiative, which strongly opposes LGBT family rights. However the decision of the Ministry will still be decisive for any future cases.

The Ministry took this decision after the adoptive mother was denied the right to adopt her partners' child by the Center for Social Work. She submitted the complaint to the Ministry, which stated that from the point of view of existing national legislation any denial of adoption of a biological child of a same-sex partner, in the context where all other legal conditions for adoption are fulfilled, is discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation. According to the Marriage Law single adoption is possible. Already in January 2010 the Supreme Court of Republic of Slovenia decided in an earlier case that the adoption of a child, who was adopted abroad by a same-sex partner who moved to Slovenia, is legally valid in Slovenia. There is now a possibility of an administrative dispute and the request for the protection of legality, which can be filed from the state prosecutor to the Supreme Court, but according to the expectations of the Ministry for Family it is less likely to happen.

The Slovenian Marriage Act allows a single adoption of a biological child of a married or unmarried partner for already 35 years, but so far same-sex partners did not practice this right.

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