Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Uruguay’s Same-Sex Couples Move Closer to Gaining Adoption Rights

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Uruguay’s Senate approved on Wednesday a controversial law that enables same-sex couples to adopt children after at least four years of cohabitation. This measure follows the Ley de Union Concubinaria (Law on Civil Unions) that passed in January 2008 and grants same-sex couples the same rights as married couples, pending compliance with certain stipulations.

In response, opponents to the law voiced concerns through the Archbishop of Montevideo, Nicolás Cotugnoover, who, along with the Partido Nacional said that the measure disrespects “human nature itself.” Government officials defend the law, saying that it will simplify adoption procedures and increase transparency.

The procedure is to be regulated by the Uruguayan Institute for the Children and Adolescents (INAU) yet, like with heterosexual couples, will still have to be authorized by a court.

The law had failed to muster enough votes for passage in the Senate in July, and passed the Chamber of Representatives on August 27. Yesterday, the new bill was overwhelmingly approved by a vote of 17 to 23 with all senators from Frente Amplio and Partido Colorado supporting it. The bill is now on the desk of President Tabaré Vázquez, waiting for his action.

President Vázquez signed the adoption bill into law.  Click here for an October 27 update.


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