It would be legally unsound and contrary to European law to discriminate between the rights of same-sex and heterosexual couples to become foster parents, Labour Minister Efi Achtsioglou said on Tuesday on ‘Sto Kokkino’ radio station, in a comment on draft legislation recently tabled in Parliament.
Politically, she added, it was a “self-evident, progressive extension of individual rights and freedoms, which this government had a great obligation to push through.”
“The draft bill says that eligibility to give foster care is open to individuals that have entered into a civil partnership agreement…consequently, it also stands to reason that anyone who has entered into a civil partnership agreement, and thus also same-sex couples, can become a foster parent,” she said.
She clarified that fostering was not the same as adoption, which was quite a different institution, where all contact between the child and the birth parent was severed and the adoptive parent was the exclusive replacement. In foster care, she pointed out, “in practice we have the parallel presence of the birth and foster parent.”
In the case of adoption, she added, the civil code stipulated that only married couples had the right to adopt and marriage is not currently an option for same-sex couples in Greece.
During the interview, the minister also announced that the labour ministry expects to next week table in Parliament a draft bill with further regulations for the protection of workers and other social welfare measures, including a change in the “architecture” of fines to a system that was less about punishing offenders and more about ensuring justice for undeclared workers.