NGO Files Unconstitutionality Complaint over Foster Care Act

Total Croatia News

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ZAGREB, February 8, 2019 – The Rainbow Families civil society group, which brings together same-sex couples and LGBTI individuals who have children or want to become parents, has filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court asking it to assess if the new Foster Care Act is in line with the Constitution and calling for putting an end to discrimination against same-sex couples.

The Foster Care Act, in force since January 1, is discriminatory and paradoxical because it has left out same-sex couples from the definition of foster family despite numerous comments from experts and members of the public during the process of public consultation on the law, the association’s coordinator, Daniel Martinović, told a news conference.

He warned that homosexuals can adopt and become foster parents if they are single but they cannot do so if they exercise their legal right to enter a life partnership. The same goes for bisexual persons, who can become foster parents if they are married but not if they live in a life partnership, Martinović said.

He added that the Foster Care Act also regulated the right to provide foster care for adults – elderly persons and persons with mental and other disorders – but that LGBTI persons in a life partnership could not apply to provide foster care even for the elderly members of their families.

The association’s attorney, Zrinka Bojanić, said that if the Constitutional Court ruled that the current law was in line with the Constitution, interested couples would file individual lawsuits with the European Court of Human Rights.

“If that court rules that their rights have been violated, Croatia will have to amend its legislation to implement the ruling. That is the way national laws are changed in situations when politicians are incapable of doing it for various reasons,” said the attorney.

More news on the human rights issues in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.


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