France’s parliament has approved a draft bill which could open the way to unmarried couples being able to adopt children together.
The bill, proposed by governing party La République en Marche, passed a first reading in the National Assembly on Friday, despite opposition from right-wing MPs.
Article 2 of the proposition de loi law will mean that couples who are pacsed or officially living together will be able to adopt a child together.
Currently, only one member of an unmarried couple can adopt a child, Adrien Taquet, junior minister for the protection of children, stated.
"By strengthening the ties between the two members of the couple, we strengthen the rights of the child", Mr Taquet said, “particularly in the event of the couple breaking up".
The bill was opposed by some members of the opposition.
Thibault Bazin of Les Républicains said, “If only the interests of the child are paramount then it is preferable to offer as many guarantees as possible, therefore keeping adoption for married couples only.”
Emmanuelle Ménard, an independent politician, said, “Modernity does not matter. Marriage offers legal security that neither Pacs or cohabitation offers”.
Current law in France states that adoption is open to anyone over the age of 28 (married or unmarried, living alone or as a couple) and to married couples (not separated) who have been married for more than two years or who are both over the age of 28.
The new proposal seeks not only to allow unmarried couples to adopt a child jointly, but also to reduce the time they need to have been together to one year and the drop the age limit to 26.