The Malta Independent 18 November 2018, Sunday

Malta’s first child adopted by a gay couple; parents appeal the public to educate others

Friday, 15 July 2016, 09:56 Last update: about 3 years ago

A toddler named Ben will go down in Maltese history as being the first child to be adopted by a gay couple.

Media reports this week revealed that the Family Court had officially given the go-ahead for adoption by two men. While the Civil Union law, which came into force in 2015, awards gay couples the same rights and privileges as a married couple – including the right to adopt – the actual process

The news of Ben quickly spread through social media after his newly-adoptive father, Kris Grima, decided to go public and share the announcement on a Facebook page entitled ‘Special Miracles Down Syndrome.’

He wrote: “Today we may formally introduce our beautiful son; because we are forever grateful for the moment and to be living out our dream as parents and Ben's dream of having a loving family. The journey has been long and difficult but it tested and challenged us in very different ways, we definitely grew through it. I wish to thank those many who supported us en route throughout the adoption with unconditional love, encouragement and support.

“To those others who gave a critical opprobrium based on their moral perspectives of what constitutes a family and the title of a 'parent'; I still thank you because you thought us the type of protection we need to equip our son with and from whom. Your attack in the name of 'the best interest of the child', on 'nature', on 'GOD' ,should be to ensure the provision of legal protection and security for same sex parents that would warrant equality in terms of family rights and legal recognition.

“Legalizing Civil Union is not the final victory, as many thought. It proved in fact an intimidating falsity. Conflating as it may be one may very well change a law but it is another to misconstrue change.”

Turning to issues of acceptance and discrimination, Mr Grima wrote that a change in law does not necessarily lead to a change in mentality, and therefore freedom from discrimination.

He then appealed to the public to educate those around them in order to foster true “equal integration.”

“It is a fact that cultures do not just evaporate and rights by assimilation should be distinguished from rights for liberation. We are living in a pluralistic world and our ethos should be to embrace diversity, because the courtesy of freedom from discrimination should include the possibility of freedom for human exploration and growth, in my case the choice to marry the person that I love, to build a family and to be able to celebrate it with equal protection, treatment and recognition.

“Ben will have a life just like any other child of yours, he is blessed by two very loving parents, four grandparents, many aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and two protective dogs:). He will diversify his perceptions through education and our support of what constitutes love, nature and beauty.

“Your job now is to educate and promote equal integration within your family and teach your children to embrace difference, maybe the future generations would be more equipped, less hateful and more loving then the present. BEN IS THE FIRST CHILD TO BE ADOPTED BY A SAME SEX COUPLE IN MALTA BUT PLENTY OF OTHERS WILL FOLLOW.”

 

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