Same-sex adoption is still illegal in 143 countries


Here in the UK, we’ve been afforded a great many LGBTQI parenting rights. In 2002, the Adoption and Children Act allowed unmarried couples in England and Wales, including same-sex couples, to jointly adopt: this law came into effect in 2005. Scotland legalised same-sex adoption in 2009, and Northern Ireland in 2013, meaning that it took until 2013 for the entirety of the UK to afford LGBTQI citizens adoption rights.

Despite all of this, it’s easy to get caught in a bubble of privilege and forget that not all members of the LGBTQI community have been afforded their rights. So, where in the world is same-sex parenting accepted and what can we do to help our LGBTQI siblings in other countries?

Red Letter Days has released a study on the worldwide progress made with regards to LGBTQI adoption rights and the advancements made over the past decade. In 2009, a mere 4% of the 169 countries researched allowed same-sex parenting.

Ten years later, that figure stands at 16%.

You might be thinking: that’s great, but a 12% increase over a 10 year period? Can’t we do better?

We agree, DIVAs.

The main trends of the study demonstrate that countries such as the UK, Sweden, Germany, and France have increasingly afforded adoption rights to LGBTQI couples since 2009. This is not to say that all European countries are this liberal: of the 51 countries, a mere 16 allow same-sex parents to adopt.

Countries which do not yet allow LGBTQI adoption include China, India, Japan, Poland, Greece, and many more. 84% of the world, therefore, classes same-sex parenting through adoption as illegal. Crazy, right? What’s more, Australia only legalised joint adoption in March 2018, shortly after the 2017 same-sex marriage referendum.

So, how do we digest all of this information? What can we do to support our LGBTQI siblings in other countries who haven’t had the same rights afforded to them? We need to keep their struggles at the forefront of our minds. Their struggles are our struggles; their fight is our fight. At the Pride parades this summer, we need to demand that our leaders actively engage with those of the more conservative countries to push for LGBTQI equality. This way, in 10 years’ time, the figure might be closer to 40%, or even 50%.

Tick tock, DIVAs.

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