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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: First Agreement to Implement “Good Day Care Act” Concluded

(Apr. 30, 2019) On April 25, 2019, the German federal government and the state of Bremen signed an agreement to implement what has been called the “Good Day Care Act.” The agreement is the first of sixteen agreements that the federal government will conclude with the German states over the course of the next several […]

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 […]

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 […]

Syria: Women’s Rights in Light of New Amendments to Syrian Personal Status Law

(Apr. 8, 2019) On February 5, 2019, the People’s Assembly of Syria approved amendments to more than 60 articles of the Personal Status Law issued by Legislative Decree No. 59 of 1953. (President al-Assad Issues Law Amending Certain Articles of Personal Status Law Issued by Legislative Decree No. 59 of 1953 and Its Amendments, SYRIAN […]

Brazil: Brazilian Bar Association Decides Violence Against Women, the Elderly, Children, Adolescents, and Persons with Physical and Mental Disabilities Precludes Membership

(Apr. 3, 2019) On March 18, 2019, the plenary of the Federal Council of the Brazilian Bar Association (Conselho Federal da Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil, CFOAB) enacted a decision (súmula) disqualifying law graduates who had committed aggression and violence against women from enrolling in the Bar. (Conselho Pleno Decide que Violência Contra a Mulher […]

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 […]

Egypt: Grand Imam Issues Religious Opinion Calling Polygamy Oppression of Women

(Mar. 18, 2019) Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar (the main religious institution in the Sunni Muslim world), stated on March 2, 2019, that the Qur’anic teachings concerning polygamy have been misunderstood and distorted, with the result that polygamy has been used in a way that is unfair to women. El-Tayeb argued that […]

Finland: Finnish Parliament Revokes Underage Marriage Exception

(Mar. 12, 2019) On February 19, 2019, the Finnish Parliament adopted changes to its Marriage Act, revoking the exception that persons not yet 18 may marry with special prior approval from the Ministry of Justice. (Press Release, Eduskunta [Parliament], Marriage with Underage Individuals Prohibited (Feb. 20, 2019) (in Swedish), Parliament website.) The parliamentary press release […]