Parliament approved on Thursday a controversial article allowing homosexual couples who have signed a cohabitation agreement to act as foster parents, at the second committee reading of a new draft law regulating adoptions.
The section was approved by SYRIZA and Potami deputies, and ANEL Deputy Thanassis Papachristopoulos, who broke party rank to vote for it. (The ruling coalition consists of SYRIZA and ANEL, or Independent Greeks.) Also voting differently from party lines were main opposition New Democracy Deputy Dora Bakoyannis and Democratic Coalition’s (DISY) Evangelos Venizelos. DISY’s rapporteur said the party would vote for the bill if amendments were implemented.
Parties called for amendments to the draft bill overall, and Alternate Minister for Social Solidarity Theano Fotiou said she was satisfied with the results. “We are taking the whole Parliament a step forward because (the draft law discussion) opened our minds greatly. I call on you to continue in this manner during the plenary session,” she said.
Fotiou said that amendments to the law based on party comments and proposals included the following: in the case of multiple suitable foster parents, the child’s best interests took priority; in certain cases, the child’s opinion would weigh in; foster parents can claim the same parental work leave as natural parents; authorities will check in on foster families at least once per month; individuals who have been charged with theft may not become foster parens.
The draft bill is expected to be sent to plenary for voting early next week.