Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe

European Parliament Calls for Automatic Recognition of Adoptions between EU Member States

The European Parliament approved on 2 February, a report on Cross-border Aspects of Adoptions, regarding the recognition of domestic adoptions between EU Member States.

The report calls the European Commission to begin a legislative process so that adoptions in a Member State are automatically recognised in every EU country, creating a European Certificate of Adoption. This would avoid that adoptive parents have to go through a legal process to recognise again their adoption when they move to another Member State.

At a first glimpse, this report seems to be quite balanced. Nevertheless, article 11 states that "The recognition of domestic adoption orders should be automatic unless (...) such recognition would be manifestly contrary to the public policy of the recognising Member State, as interpreted in accordance with Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union(non-discrimination).

Article 11 of this proposal undermines the principle of subsidiarity, leaving an open door to subjective interpretations, for example with regard to surrogacy arrangements, or when two persons of the same sex want to be recognised as parents in a Member State that does not allow adoptions by pairs of the same sex. This could create a fertile ground for conflicts among Member States and generate pressures to legalise adoptions by people of the same sex in every Member State.

The report was approved by a vast majority of MEPs (533 in favour, 41 against, 72 abstentions), but the Commission is not obliged to follow the recommendation of the European Parliament and – according to the statement released by Commissioner Vera Jurova – it does not plan to do so. 

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