Germany’s top court rules gay couples are banned from joint adoption

Despite the Constitutional Court ruling last year that gay couples could adopt together on a technicality, they have thrown out a referral asking them to rule on joint same-sex adoptions

Germany’s top court has ruled gay couples are banned from joint adoption today (21 February), despite being allowed to on a technicality.

The Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe threw out a request from a Berlin district court to rule on whether same-sex couples living in a registered civil partnership could adopt children together.

But gay rights activists have said the ruling is effectively meaningless, as same-sex couples are allowed to use a system called ‘successive adoption’.

Under a Constitutional Court ruling in February last year, it said gay individuals could adopt a child already adopted by their civil partner.

A prior ban on ‘successive adoption’ violated the principle of equal treatment regardless of sexual orientation, it said, giving the government until July 2014 to change the law.

But today, the Constitutional Court ruled the Berlin court’s judgement was not sufficiently grounded in legal argument.

‘The Berlin District Court has barely considered the relevant literature and the ruling of the Constitutional Court in its referral,’ the Karlsruhe court said, as reported by Reuters.

Germany’s Lesbian and Gay Association said it regretted the court would not make a ruling, but added it took heart from the fact that the court clearly supported the equal treatment of same-sex couples.

‘Parliament and the government cannot hide behind this formal rejection of the case,’ it said.

‘The ban on joint adoption by civil couples is effectively meaningless, as partners can circumvent it by adopting a child in succession. This is even possible in the same hearing.’

Germany legalized civil partnerships in 2001, but has refused so far to move forward in allowing same-sex marriage.

by Joe Morgan
Source – Gay Star News