Croatian Constitutional Court: Same-sex couples have the right to foster care

Croatian Constitutional Court President Miroslav Separovic said that the Constitutional Court has ordered courts and other competent bodies not to discriminate against same-sex partners who qualify for foster care when implementing the law on child custody. The decision of the Constitutional Court has already been distributed to the Croatian public.

The Constitutional Court today ruled that courts and competent bodies are obliged, on equal terms, to allow all citizens to participate in as they put it, the public foster care service. The courts made the decision after considering a number of requests for constitutional review of three articles of foster care law filed by associations and individuals for discrimination against same-sex partners.

President of the Constitutional Court Miroslav Separovic confirmed to reporters today that they did not repeal the disputed provisions of the law, such as that foster parents are spouses, so as not to cause additional adverse consequences to the rights and interests of spouses in the existing model of foster care.

Therefore, as he pointed out, courts and administrative bodies were ordered to implement the foster care law in accordance with the constitution and law, as well as international law, and not to discriminate against same-sex persons.

“They must allow same-sex persons to become foster parents, under the same conditions as all other citizens,” said Separovic. He added that nine constitutional judges upheld today's decision, and four had concerns. Two of them also considered the law to be discriminatory, but did not agree with the reasons for the decision.

Conservative Croatian Associations, affiliated with the Catholic Church have judged the decision to be bad for children and justice. PHOTO: Thinkstock

The Constitutional Court found that the foster care law had omitted or “concealed” a certain social group and thus caused widespread discriminatory effects on same-sex persons living in partner communities and informal partnerships, which is not in accordance with the Constitution.

In addition to many left-wing political parties and human rights organizations, the elimination of controversial articles of the law partners Ivo Segot and Mladen Kozic , who have been fighting for the right for years

Although Shegota and Kozic received a lawsuit in December last year in an administrative court, the Zagreb Center for Social Work rejected their foster care claim last month as unfounded. They referred to the controversial provisions of the Foster Care Act, which did not indicate the possibility of foster care being given to same-sex partners.

In associations fighting for the rights of LGBT people, they were pleased with today's decision of the Constitutional Court, which they see as a step forward towards equality of same-sex persons.

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