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Germany: New Act Allows Stepchild Adoption in Nonmarital Families

(Apr. 29, 2020) On March 31, 2020, an act that allows stepchild adoption in nonmarital families entered into force in Germany. The act implements a decision of the German Federal Constitutional Court of March 26, 2019, which ruled the exclusion of stepchild adoption in nonmarital families unconstitutional. The decision obligated the legislature to enact new […]

Germany: Regional Court Holds Foreign Adoption Decision Violated International Public Order

(Nov. 27, 2019) In a decision published on November 11, 2019, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt did not recognize an adoption decision of the High Court of Sierra Leone because, in the Court’s opinion, the decision violated international public order. The Court held that both parents need to be present at a foreign adoption […]

Israel: Family Court Rejects Request to Register Same-Sex Spouse of Biological Parent as a Third Parent or an Additional Guardian

(Nov. 14, 2019) On October 22, 2019, the Lod Central-District Court rejected a request to register a woman as the third parent of her same-sex spouse’s biological children or alternatively appoint her as a guardian of the children in addition to their biological parents. (Family Appeal 52550-10-18 Anonymous v. Anonymous (decision rendered Oct. 22, 2029, by […]

Israel: Family Court Recognizes Right to Adopt for a Man and a Woman “Known to the Public as Married”

(Oct. 31, 2019) On September 17, 2019, the deputy president of the Be’er Sheva Family Court approved the adoption of a minor by a heterosexual unmarried couple the Court determined to be “known to the public as married.” Israeli law does not recognize common-law marriage. Cohabitation and evidence of sharing life together as a husband […]

Russia: President Signs Law Allowing Adoption of Children by People with Particular Diseases

(June 26, 2019) On May 29, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill that allows courts to use discretion in approving adoption orders concerning children who already live with their prospective adoptive parents if one of the parents is suffering from certain diseases. (Federal Law No. 115 of May 29, 2019, on […]

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 […]

Philippines: Law on Rectification of Simulated Birth Records Enacted

(Apr. 26, 2019) On March 14, 2019, the Philippine government announced in the Official Gazette the enactment of the Simulated Birth Rectification Act (Republic Act No. 11222), which grants amnesty to individuals who falsified civil registry records to make it appear in a child’s birth record that the child was born to a woman who […]

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 […]

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, […]