The new process will remove a lengthy adoption process.
Lawmakers in Germany are proposing a new law that will make it easier for women in same-sex relationships to have full custody and legal rights over a child. Currently, the non-biological mother of the child has to go through a lengthy adoption process.
The legislation will only cover women in same-sex relationships, and will not carry over for men in same-sex relationships.
Writing about the proposed law on her website, Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht, said: “The diversity of our society is reflected in the families: Children grow up in blended families or with parents who are not married to each other or who live in same-sex relationships. The law must react to these diverse forms of family coexistence.”
Deutsche Welle reports Lambrecht adding that “in future be able to have another woman as a mother in addition to the mother of birth, without having to go through an elaborate adoption procedure.”
Arguing why men in same-sex relationships wouldn’t be included in the new law, she said: “We want to adhere to the principle that the first parental place is reserved for the biological mother who gave birth to the child. Her presence is a basic requirement. Therefore, for male couples the only option left is adoption.”
The proposed law is facing opposition, with Katrin Helling-Plahr, a Free Democrat opposition lawmaker, accused Lambrecht of “bowing to feminists” and “diluting” an expert panel on the matter that had been drafted the previous year.
Earlier this year, Germany took a monumental step toward LGBTQ+ equality when it banned ‘conversion therapy’ for minors, the first major European country to do so.
The law has banned the discredited practice being carried out on people under the age of 18, and groups, including parents, who attempt to force minors into it face up to a year in prison, or a €30,000 (roughly equivalent to £26,000) fine. There will also be penalties if people older than 18 are coerced or deceived into undergoing the practice.
According to figures from the Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation, around 1,000 people in Germany are subjected to gay ‘conversion’ therapy every year.
The ban received international praise, with ‘conversion’ therapy survivor and co-founder of Born Perfect, Mathew Shurka, saying: “Germany is the first major European country to protect LGBTQ people from this insidious practice, which is one of the primary drivers of suicide and depression among LGBTQ youth.
“Especially during this time, when many LGBTQ people are feeling more isolated and alone than ever, Germany’s leadership is a powerful example of how governments can stand up for LGBTQ youth.”