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Osaka men become first gay couple to foster a child in Japan

Osaka men become first gay couple to foster a child in Japan


Osaka has become Japan’s first city to allow a same-sex couple to be foster parent.

The city government announced on Wednesday it had recognized two men as foster parents. It is one of many moves the city is making to reduce discrimination against LGBTI people.

The two men are in their 40s and 30s respectively. They had been living with a teenage boy since February and were granted official foster parent status. They asked not to be identified.

An unprecedented decision

According to reports in Japan Today the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said there was ‘no precedent’ for a same-sex couple being certified as foster parents.

‘I am happy we became foster parents (and recognized) as a single household, not just as individuals,’ the older of the two men told Kyodo News.

There are no provisions in Japanese which prevent same-sex couples from becoming foster parent.

Previously two women in the Japan’s eastern Kanto region were recognized as individuals who could become foster parent. They went on to raise a child together.

After applying to become foster parents in 2015 the male couple has undergone training and testing by officials.

They were also screened by the city’s social welfare panel and officially recognized as foster parent able to look after a minor in December last year.