Hungary bans same-sex adoption with constitution change

17 December 2020, 06:45 | Updated: 17 December 2020, 06:47

The LGBT+ community in Hungary has been repeatedly targeted with legislation in recent years
The LGBT+ community in Hungary has been repeatedly targeted with legislation in recent years. Picture: Getty

By Kate Buck

Hungary has effectively banned same-sex couples from adopting after amending the constitution to say: "the mother is a woman, the father is a man".

The country has become increasingly right-wing in recent months, and MPs voted yesterday in favour of a law which restricts adoption to only married couples in a push for "traditional values".

Gay and lesbian couples are not allowed to marry in Hungary, but civil unions are recognised.

Previously, if a same-sex couple wished to adopt then one of them had to apply on their own, rather than as a pair.

Any exceptions to a married couple adopting a child must now be personally approved by the ultra-conservative family affairs minister, Katalin Novak.

Hungary's Justice Minister, Judit Varga said: "The main rule is that only married couples can adopt a child, that is, a man and a woman who are married.

"Do not believe that us women should continuously compete with men.

Hungary's government has effectively banned same-sex adoption with a change to the constitution
Hungary's government has effectively banned same-sex adoption with a change to the constitution. Picture: Getty

"Do not believe that in every waking moment we must measure up and have at least as high positions or as large salaries as (men)."

The government, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, said "new ideological processes in the West" meant changes were needed to "protect children against possible ideological or biological interference."

Hungary has become increasingly hostile to the LGBT+ community in recent months, with a law being passed earlier this year banning gender change in personal documents.

Human rights campaigners in the nation have said the latest change in rules for adoption is a "dark day".

Hungary director of Amnesty International David Vig said: "These discriminatory, homophobic and transphobic new laws are just the latest attack on LGBTQ people by Hungarian authorities.

"This is a dark day for Hungary's LGBTQ community and a dark day for human rights."

The announcement also comes a month after a key figure in drafting the conservative policies, Jozsef Szajer, resigned as an MEP after being caught at an illegal Belgian all-male sex party - which police said breached Covid lockdown rules.