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Adoption Bill Passes First Hurdle

September 14, 2006 11:40 PM

Members of the Scottish Parliament have backed giving parliamentary time to legislation to allow same-sex couples to adopt children. Members voted 103 - 8 to allow the bill to proceed. Although it is already legal for lesbian, gay and bi people to adopt, same-sex partners lacked co-parenting rights, and children were not recognised as the legal children of same-sex partners.

The new bill recognizes each partner in a relationship as an equal parent. It also applies to non-married mixed-sex couples. The legislation forms part of the first major overhaul of adoption law in Scotland in 30 years. Out Liberal Democrat MSP Margaret Smith told Parliament that she had seen first hand the problems encountered by same-sex couples with children.

As the law stands in Scotland, should something happen to the birth or adoptive parent the other partner has no rights and a child can be taken from them. The proposed changes to the law would help to give children security and continuity should anything happen to one of their parents.