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Switzerland comes one step closer to granting gay couples adoption rights

Switzerland comes one step closer to granting gay couples adoption rights

Switzerland's Council of States has voted in favor of allowing same-sex couples to adopt.

Switzerland has taken one step further to open adoption for same-sex couples.

The Council of States’ (upper house) commission of legal affairs accepted a change of law with seven councilors voting in favor and four against updating adoption law.

While it doesn’t grant same-sex couples full adoption rights, they would be able to apply for the adoption of stepchildren into their family.

This means if one of the partners has a child from another relationship, the other one will now be able to adopt the kid as theirs; so far, this privilege had been reserved for straight, married couples.

It could also extend to couples who conceived with the help of a surrogate; currently, a gay couple and their four-year-old son are suing Switzerland because the country refuses to list both men as the child’s parents.

With the proposed law changes, the minimum age at which couples can adopt would be lowered from 35 to 28; they would also have to have lived in a household together, and as a couple, for a minimum of three years before they would be considered as adoptive parents.

Switzerland also aims to give more rights to the children. If the changes come into effect, they would be heard as part of the adoption process.

The law has to pass several more hurdles, including the lower house accepting the changes; Switzerland could also define marriage as exclusively between man and woman in a referendum at the end of February.