The Hungarian parliament has passed legislation that will effectively ban same-sex couples from adopting children.
Under this new law, put forward by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s nationalist government, only married couples may now adopt, with some exceptions made for single relatives of the child.
As same-sex marriage is illegal in Hungary, adoption had only previously been possible if one partner applied on their own. However, this route to parenthood has now been closed off, stopping many gay couples from starting families of their own.
This new law defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, asserting that the ‘foundation of the family is marriage and the parent-child relationship. The mother is a woman, the father is a man’.
As per BBC News, the Hungarian government has said these changes are necessary as ‘new ideological processes in the West’ have brought about the need to ‘protect children against possible ideological or biological interference’.
The constitution states:
Hungary defends the right of children to identify with their birth gender and ensures their upbringing based on our nation’s constitutional identity and values based on our Christian culture.
Director of Amnesty Hungary, David Vig, described this motion as being ‘a dark day for Hungary’s LGBTQ community and a dark day for human rights’.
He added, ‘These discriminatory, homophobic and transphobic new laws – rushed through under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic – are just the latest attack on LGBTQ people by Hungarian authorities.’
Advocacy Director at ILGA, Katrin Hugendubel, said:
These bills further restrict the rights of LGBTI children and parents in Hungary. LGBTI children will be forced to grow up in an environment which restricts them from being able to express their identities, and children across Hungary will be refused safe and loving families, as adoption is restricted only to married heterosexual couples.
This attempt to rush through these discriminatory, homophobic and transphobic new laws are part of an ongoing attack on LGBTI people by Hungarian authorities.
Masen Davis, executive director at Transgender Europe, has also expressed deep concern about this legislation, which follows other recent discriminatory legislation put forward by the Hungarian government:
Earlier this year, Hungary made it impossible for trans people to change their names and legal gender marker. We are deeply concerned for the health and safety of trans children and adults in Hungary in such a hostile climate.
We call upon EU Commission President von der Leyen to address the rights of LGBT parents, the attempt to erase gender diverse children, and the ban on legal gender recognition in the Commission’s rule of law assessment and on-going Article 7 TEU proceedings against Hungary.
As per Reuters, this newly-passed legislation follows ideological battles in Hungary over children’s books that depict diversity in a positive light.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]