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Cyprus

Adoption likely to be excluded from civil partnerships law

Cyprus is not ready to accept child adoption by same sex couples, lawmakers said on Wednesday, and an amendment will be submitted to preclude couples – straight and gay — in civil partnerships from adopting.

The House Interior and Legal Affairs Committees discussed the civil partnerships bill, seeking clarifications over certain ambiguous provisions.

AKEL and EDEK said neither society nor the state were yet ready to accept child adoption from same sex couples.

Chairman of gay rights group ACCEPT LGBTI Costas Gavrielides agreed, saying his organisation was not raising such an issue.

The representative of the state law office said the bill recognised the relation of people in a civil partnership as spouses and afforded the same rights. The civil partnership bill did not include provisions regulating child adoptions.

To exempt them from adopting there must be a change of the adoption law, MPs heard.

But exempting same sex couples would raise an issue of discrimination, Aristos Tsiartas, the head of the human rights sector in the ombudsman’s office said.

EDEK MP Roulla Mavronikola said she submitted a proposal to amend the law on adoptions to preclude couples who sign a civil partnership, whether straight or gay, to adopt a child.

At a more general level, Legal Affairs Committee chairman Sotiris Sampson said a host of other laws must be changed for the civil partnership legislation to be enforced.

Among them are child laws, parents and children relations, state assistance laws and property laws.

AKEL MP Aristos Damianou voiced his frustration at the lack of a timeframe for the amendment of the other laws, warning against creating rights that could not be implemented.

MPs are expected to start a detailed discussion of the bill on Thursday.

Damianou said the effort was to provide society with a functional legal framework, noting that the text before parliament included ambiguous provisions that had to be clarified.

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