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Switzerland: Parliament Takes Significant Step Toward Adopting Paid Paternity Leave

(July 3, 2019) On June 20, 2019, the Swiss Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung), the Swiss parliament, took a significant step toward adopting paid paternity leave provisions. The Swiss Council of States (Ständerat), the upper chamber of parliament, agreed to a parliamentary initiative that would introduce two weeks of paid paternity leave. (Parlamentarische Initiative SGK-SR. Indirekter Gegenentwurf […]

Germany: De Facto Complete Exclusion of Stepchild Adoption for Unmarried Couples Held Unconstitutional

(May 15, 2019) In a decision published on May 2, 2019, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) held that the fact that an unmarried stepparent cannot adopt his or her partner’s child without terminating the child’s legal relationship to the latter, thereby de facto excluding stepchild adoption in such cases, violates the equal treatment […]

Germany: Federal Court of Justice Rules on Legal Motherhood of Surrogate

(Apr. 29, 2019) In a decision published on April 23, 2019, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH), Germany’s supreme court for civil and criminal cases, held that German law must be used to determine the parentage of a child born to a surrogate in Ukraine and brought to Germany immediately after birth to […]

Brazil: Brazilian President Signs Acts Addressing Bureaucracy, Corruption, and Drug Policy

(Apr. 23, 2019) On April 11, 2019, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed 18 acts, including measures relating to corruption, modernization, bureaucracy, drug policy, and literacy policy. (Assinados 18 Atos para Modernizar e Desburocratizar o País, NOTÍCIAS, GOVERNO DO BRASIL (Apr. 12, 2019).) Five of the most significant of the acts signed by Bolsonaro are as […]

Brazil: New Law Prohibits Marriage of Persons Under 16 Years of Age

(Mar. 22, 2019) On March 12, 2019, Brazil enacted legislation to prohibit underage persons from marrying. The new law—Law No. 13,811 (Lei No. 13.811, de 12 de Março de 2019, Presidency of the Republic website)—amends article 1,520 of the Civil Code to establish that only persons who have reached the age of marriage determined in […]

Russia: President Signs Law on Children’s Rights Commissioners

(Feb. 7, 2019) On December 27, 2018, the President of the Russian Federation signed the Law on Children’s Rights Commissioners. (Federal Law on Children’s Rights Commissioners, Dec. 27, 2018, N 501-FZ, Russian government’s Official Legal Information Portal (in Russian). The Law expanded the authority of the Children’s Rights Commissioner, a post created by a presidential […]

Sweden: Migration High Court Rules That Applying High School Act Does Not Violate Schengen

(Dec. 13, 2018) On September 25, 2018, the Swedish Migration Court of Appeals found that the newly enacted “High School Act,” which allows undocumented minors whose asylum application has been rejected to stay in the country to pursue a high school education, does not violate the Schengen rules requiring proof of identity. (Migrationsöverdomstolen [Migration Appeals […]

Austria: Constitutional Court Holds That Civil Code Provision May Not Be Interpreted to Restrict Same-Sex Couples’ Power to Adopt After Separation

(Nov. 27, 2018) On October 3, 2018, the Austrian Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof Österreich, VfGH) held that after a same-sex couple separates, one former partner must remain able to adopt the other’s biological child. The Court stated that section 197, paragraph 3 of the Civil Code must be interpreted in conformity with the Constitution so that […]

Germany: Federal Court of Justice Rules Same-Sex Marriage Does Not Make Wife of Child’s Mother Co-parent by Law

(Nov. 9, 2018) On October 10, 2018, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH), Germany’s supreme court for civil and criminal cases, held that being in a same-sex marriage does not automatically make the wife of the mother of a child co-parent by law. The Court stated that there is no legal presumption for […]

Kenya: Parliament Considering Amendment to the Country’s 2001 Children Act

(Oct. 5, 2018) Kenya’s Parliament is currently reviewing a new bill—the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, 2018—which seeks to introduce key amendments to the 2001 Children Act. The Bill has recently gone through its first reading in the National Assembly, one of the two houses of the Kenyan Parliament. (Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, 2018, […]