The EU’s executive arm on Wednesday proposed new regulations that would oblige member states to recognise the rights of same-sex parents granted in another country in the bloc.
The initiative aimed at making it easier so-called “rainbow families" to move around is likely to be blocked by right-wing governments in EU members such as Poland and Hungary.
“We want to help all families and children in cross-border situations," European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen tweeted.
“If you are a parent in one country, you are a parent in every country."
The proposal aims to create a “European Certificate of Parenthood" that would ensure the rights granted in one country are recognised across the 27-nation bloc.
“There are an estimated two million children who can see their legal relationship with their parents denied in another member state," EU justice commissioner Didier Reynders said.
“This could be because the family has moved to a member state which will not recognise the parenthood previously established."
The initiative requires the backing of all member states to go into force but there is opposition from conservative governments around the bloc.
In 11 EU countries, a child cannot legally have two women or two men recognised as the parents, a report for the European Parliament said last year.
EU states have faced lawsuits for refusing to recognise the parental rights of same-sex couples.
Last year, the bloc’s top court ruled that Bulgaria must issue an identity document to the stateless baby of a same-sex couple who were listed as parents on her Spanish birth certificate.
LGBTQ+ organisations welcomed the proposal as key to helping reach “equal protection for all children in the union".
“Ensuring that children have their parents fully recognised when moving across the EU is an essential condition for their best interests and their fundamental rights," Evelyne Paradis, executive director of ILGA-Europe, said.
“Having legal certainty on recognition will reduce serious concerns and problems that rainbow families face when travelling or moving in the EU."
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