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Dutch Senate backs lesbian parental rights law

WEDNESDAY, 20 NOVEMBER 2013

~ Consequences for Dutch Caribbean ~

THE HAGUE–The Senate approved on Tuesday, the law proposal to establish the legal parental rights of the female partner of a mother. The Kingdom Law on the Dutch Nationality was adapted to regulate that the duo mother can pass her Dutch nationality to her child. The law changes have consequences for the Dutch Caribbean.

The lesbian parental law enables the female partner of a mother, the so-called duo mother, to become the legal parent of a child without a court procedure. The law proposal was submitted by State Secretary of Safety and Justice Fred Teeven.

The law proposal was handled together with an amendment to the Kingdom Law on the Dutch Nationality (Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap) to secure that the duo mother can pass the Dutch nationality to her child. Annually between 300 and 400 children are born to lesbian mothers in the Netherlands.

The objective of the parental law, which becomes effective April 1, 2014, is to properly arrange the legal family relations of parents and children in “pink families.” “It is important that these children can grow up in the same manner and under the same conditions as children of different sex parents,” Teeven stated on Tuesday.

Until now, legal parenthood of the duo mother can only be achieved through the intervention of the Court. This procedure can only be concluded after the birth of the child. With the new law the duo mother automatically becomes a legal parent at the birth of the child. The biological father of the child can become the second legal parent.

The Kingdom Charter, article 40, prescribes that the Dutch Caribbean islands have to acknowledge authentic acts and court decisions. This means that the islands have to accept the authentic acts, including the birth certificate of children of a lesbian couple. The islands will have to cooperate when, for example, a lesbian couple with one or more children moves to one of the islands and wants to register at the Census Office.

A vast majority of the Senate, the First Chamber of the Dutch Parliament, approved the two law proposals on Tuesday. Only the Christian parties voted against. The Second Chamber already approved the law proposals in May this year.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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