The Malta Independent 17 July 2018, Tuesday

Government ‘began communication’ with US, Brazil, Mexico for child adoption by same-sex couples

Joanna Demarco Monday, 18 June 2018, 09:40 Last update: about 29 days ago

The Government has begun communication with the United States, Brazil and Mexico for child adoption by same-sex couples, The Malta Independent on Sunday is informed. Currently, same-sex couples can only adopt children from two countries.

Although adoption by same-sex couples was legalised in Malta in 2014, one of the main hurdles same-sex couples experience when wishing to adopt is that not all countries allow same-sex adoption – an issue that is out of the hands of the Maltese government.

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Minister for the Family Michael Falzon told this newspaper that currently Portugal and Colombia are the only countries from which Maltese same-sex couples can adopt a child. Despite only offering two options, joint adoption by same-sex couples is currently legal in a total of 27 countries, 17 of which are in Europe.

Asked whether there has been communication with any other countries in which adoption by same-sex couples is permitted, the Minister replied in the affirmative. “The government, through the Central Authority, has begun communication with the US, Brazil and Mexico on the same matter,” he said.

Asked whether same-sex couples face any particular problems when adopting children in Malta, the Minister replied that the Central Authority is not aware of any. “Same-sex couples are given the same treatment as any other heterosexual couples and thus the Central Authority is not aware of any hurdles,” he said.

Adoption by same-sex couples was legalised in Malta in 2014 through the Civil Unions Act, which granted those joined in civil union the same rights as those joined in marriage.

Last February, Lovin Malta reported that there had been three adoptions in Malta by same-sex couples. In 2016, Ben, a young boy with Down Syndrome, was the first child to be adopted by a same-sex couple in Malta, after being turned down by over 50 couples.

When it comes to heterosexual couples, Malta currently has agreements with eight countries, namely Albania, Slovakia, Russia, Chile, Vietnam, Cambodia, India and Portugal. The final decision always lies with the child’s country of origin.

Malta, on the other hand, is not a ‘sending country’ and Maltese children available for adoption are generally adopted locally. 

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