Rainbow Family

Rainbow Families are families called, where children of two same-sex partners live as a family. [1] The two male or two female parents can – if legally permissible – to be married in same-sex marriage , are alternative forms of parental connection registered partnerships and informal connections of life companions . Since July 2011, at First International Symposium of LGBT Family Organizations from Europe, USA & Canada, ” International Family Equality Day “was declared – an international day of rainbow families. As a sign of solidarity and equality of rainbow families this day should be celebrated worldwide every year on the first Sunday in May.

Word origin

The name derives in this case of the rainbow flag from, now a worldwide symbol of confident living lesbians, gays and bisexuals. In a figurative sense, it can also be the community of all LGBT people call. In 2009, the word was in the 25th Edition of the Duden added. [2]

During the 1960s, the countercultural hippie movement is viewed symbolically as all brothers and sisters. Through this “mass adoption” were “tribes” or Rainbow “Families”. [3] A captured early use of the term “rainbow family” goes to Josephine Baker back, which in the 1950s in the U.S. civil rights movement committed and later twelve orphan children of different races and nations adopted. [4] [5] [6] In this sense it is still used in German in translation. [7] In the United States in 1972, The Rainbow Family of Living Light, founded a non-hierarchical group which prays for world peace and making the case for the utopia of a cooperative community that lives in harmony with the earth. It now has support around the globe. [8]
Origin of Children in Rainbow Families
Rainbow Family

The details of the micro-census and the few studies available to date indicates that

most children from previous heterosexual marriages and partnerships are a parent,
a previously unknown, but probably increasing number of young lesbian and gay wants a life with children and starting a family through artificial insemination , beaker method or adoption implemented as an individual,
in the context of educational assistance – full-time care children are cared for in foster homes with lesbians and gay men and to find an expandable reservoir of skilled educators here -
more children grow up with their mothers than with their homosexual homosexual fathers,
same-sex unions with children living in both large and small cities and rural regions.

According to the Youth Office in Frankfurt am Main, there have been a number of lesbian and gay couples foster children included. Even individual adoptions are known. The evaluation of the Youth Office is positive, the experience did not differ on average from those anticipated by heterosexual couples. Other experiences are from Berlin and Bavaria known.

The American Psychological Association supports the adoption by same-sex couples in their policy statement 28 and 30 July 2004. [9] , the adoption is supported by same-sex couples by the following organizations in the United States also: Child Welfare League of America , American Bar Association , American Psychiatric Association , National Association of Social Workers , North American Council on Adoptable Children , American Academy of Pediatrics , American Psychoanalytic Association [10] and American Academy of Family Physicians . [11]

The family research in Germany has turned in the 1990s reinforced the children with same-sex-loving parent. The German family and social researchers Fthenakis (2000), Berger, rice Beck & Heavy (2000) and Eggen come – as well as the American grouping of 21 international studies by Stacey and Biblarz on the effects of homosexual lifestyles of parents to children – mainly to the following results :

Children and young gay parents are as likely as heterosexual oriented children of heterosexual parents.
With respect to possible behavioral and developmental disorders due to the sexual orientation of the parents, there are no differences between children in same-sex and different-sex partnerships. Children of gay parents show in any way likely behavioral disorders than children of heterosexual parents.
Not sexual orientation, but the sex of the (gay) parents seem to affect the attitudes and behavior of children. So probably have especially children who grow up in same-sex partnerships of two women, a gender-less typical role behavior than children of heterosexual parents.
A majority of children do not experience discrimination because of their family experiences. Those children who experience stigma can constructively deal with it and be absorbed well by their parents. [12]
Basically, children seem to grow up with same-sex parents to experience their sexual orientation reflected. Nevertheless, the studies from the cabinets USA this thesis so far a, as this could influence to some extent by the environment in this setting: Gay parents live in the U.S. more often than average in big cities or university towns, their children grow up in a relatively tolerant environment in which less homophobic settings cherishes.
Children in same-sex partnerships are not subject to higher risk of being victims of sexual abuse. In a so-called perpetrators of child abuse offenses are predominantly (around 95 percent according to the findings of the safety report of the Federal Government ) men, and they mainly come from the social environment. The risk of abuse is three times higher for girls than for boys. So is the risk of abuse for children who grow up in a lesbian couple and for girls at a gay parents grow up, already statistically much lower than that of children in heterosexual partnerships. Statistical figures on this point, however, there is not – it is argued that the risk due to high social control lies also significantly lower than for heterosexual couples. Thus, a widespread prejudice finds no confirmation in the research.

One of the German Federal Ministry of Justice commissioned study on “living conditions of children in same-sex partnerships” comes to the conclusion that, no disadvantages for the development were to be found in children who grow up in gay or lesbian partnerships. In the study was the Munich State Institute of Early Childhood Research (IFP) involved. [13]
Legal situation of adoption by same-sex couples (as of 2013)
Adoptions by same-sex couples in Europe [14]

Community legal adoption
Stepchild adoption legal

Adoptions by same-sex couples worldwide

Community legal adoption
Stepchild adoption legal


The legal situation of adoptions by same-sex couples are different in Europe.

Community adoptions are legally allowed the United Kingdom .

The stepchild adoption biological children in Germany , Finland [20] , Slovenia [21] [22] and in Switzerland [23] allowed. In February 2006, the highest chose French court (Cour de Cassation), that both partners may exercise the parental rights of the biological children of the other partner in a same-sex partnership. Within the European Union’s 11 member countries have an agreement for adoption ratified, which also allows same-sex couples who live in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership, to jointly adopt foreign children. [24]


The stepchild adoption biological children in Germany allowed. The joint adoption of a foreign child is excluded contrast. Only one partner can adopt a child, the other has only the possibility (limited =) request the “limited custody”. [25] The Federal Constitutional Court had in August 2009 returned a template against same-sex step-parent adoption. [26]

In June 2009, the demand EKD – Praeses Katrin Göring-Eckardt and the FDP politician Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger a joint adoption rights for same-sex civil unions . [27] The German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries endorsed in July 2009 as the Community Adoption nichtleiblicher children. [28]

One of 90/The Greens commissioned piece of advice of the scientific services of the German Parliament, entitled “Equality registered partnerships: joint adoption of a foreign child” comes to the conclusion that “the right to adopt an objective justification required (is) to registered to treat life partner against non-spouses. none (…) empirical studies “Currently there are” clear, after which the welfare of a child in a civil partnership in Germany is generally compromised. ” [29]

Since the beginning of 2011 that reviewed Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, the constitutionality of the position of registered partnerships in certain provisions of the adoption law (1 BvR 3247/09, decision of the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg template, Az 2 Wx 23/09). The Bundestag made ​​in late 2011 to the signing of a revised version of the European Convention on the Adoption of Children from the 2008 output from this method-dependent. [30] On 19 February 2013 the Constitutional Court decided in favor of partnered pairs, which is now in the way of a second successive adoption can be legally future parents. [31]


In Switzerland the adoption of children is prohibited by law same-sex couples living in a registered partnership. This prohibition closed until the end of 2012 and the adoption of stepchildren with a. [32] As of 2013, enables the adoption Switzerland biological children.


In Austria the adoption of children is prohibited by law same-sex couples living in a registered partnership. This prohibition also included the adoption of a stepchild with. On 19 February 2013 criticized the European Court of Human Rights this ban in Austria. The Austrian government subsequently announced a new bill, which will allow the adoption of stepchildren. [33]

United States

Rainbow family by adoption signing

Within the United States is the adoption by same-sex couples in Alaska , Colorado , Connecticut , California , Illinois , Maryland , Massachusetts , Michigan , Minnesota , New Hampshire , [34] New Jersey , New Mexico , New York , Ohio , Oregon , Pennsylvania , Rhode Iceland , Tennessee , Vermont , Washington , Wisconsin , Washington DC allowed. [35] [36]


In Canada , the adoption in the legislative competence of the provinces is anchored (as in the U.S.). The legal situation is therefore different in the various Canadian provinces. The adoption is permitted in the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Iceland and Nunavut. It is therefore not allowed in Alberta, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories and Yukon.


In Mexico the adoption in the legislative competence of the individual states is anchored. The legal situation is therefore different in the various Mexican provinces. Adoption is in Mexico City allowed and confirmed by the Mexican Constitutional Court in August 2010. [37]


In Argentina the common adoption by same-sex couples is allowed since 2010.


In Brazil , the Community adoption is allowed nationwide by same-sex couples. [38] [39]


In Uruguay , the adoption of step 2009, it was allowed. [40]


In Australia , the common adoption by same-sex couples in the state is Western Australia , the federal capital Canberra (ACT) and in the state of New South Wales [41] allowed; in the state of Tasmania only the stepchild adoption is possible.

New Zealand

In New Zealand the stepchild adoption of the approved registered partnerships is allowed there. Community adoption is allowed since 2013 with the opening marriage took place. [42]


Israel’s Supreme Court ruled in January 2005 in favor of the stepchild adoptions.

South Africa

In South Africa , the Community adoption is permitted opening marriage to homosexual couples.
Adoption by individual

In Ireland and many European countries, individuals can be (heterosexual / homosexual) approved for adoption.

In January 2008, the decision of European Court of Human Rights ( ECHR that homosexual persons access to adoption shall not be denied because of their homosexuality). The ruling states that all laws and regulations in the Member States of the Council of Europe who refuse to approve an adoption because of the homosexual orientation of adoption willing, against the Article 14 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) violated. [43] [44]
Legal situation of access to seed banks

In Germany, lesbian women increasingly decide for a biological child through sperm donation.

While the guidelines of the German Medical Association establish legally binding criteria, but represent part of the professional code of physicians is the Embryo Protection Act law must be observed as a federal law of seed banks.

In Germany there is a legal right of access to seed banks so far only for heterosexual married women. The seed banks decide for themselves whether they want to give to lesbians seeds. A doctor makes in Germany but not punishable if he fertilizes a woman with donor sperm. Although the German Medical Association Civil law prohibits such assistance. However, this is for the physician not legally binding. [45] [46] In particular, lesbian, civilly partnered couples require easier access to artificial insemination, as is allowed in several neighboring EU countries. Many women differ from other countries such as Denmark.

Denmark in 1997 a law was passed, according to the doctors, the single or lesbian women fertilized, made punishable. This law has been circumvented, however, because although make punishable doctors, midwives, to help a child the women of this group, but not. So the first fertility clinic run by a midwife in 1999, was launched. This was after the founder Stork Clinic. About the Foundation has been reported in the international press. Meanwhile, there is in Denmark a number of other clinics run by midwives. This will be investigated among others by German lesbian and single women who meet there to their children. [47] [48]

In Switzerland, the sperm donation is only permitted for married couples. [49]
Other European countries (selection)

Belgium , Finland , the Netherlands , Norway [50] Sweden , the United Kingdom and Spain [51] allows lesbian couples have access to the services of sperm banks and Inseminationskliniken.
Legal situation of surrogacy
→ Main article: Surrogacy
Gay and lesbian co-parenting (Queer Family)

The joint parenting of lesbians and gay men is another option for same sex living people. One advantage, among other things, that the parties establishing such a ” queer are still dependent on family medical institutions “neither authorities. Another advantage is often seen that children know both biological parents and grow up in regular contact with them. The families are occasionally if more than two adults are involved (three-or four-parent families such as a lesbian couple and a gay man or a gay and a lesbian couple) before the difficult situation that this family form before Law does not exist. By political concepts have been developed in recent years, and in such situations the main caregivers of the child can be provided with rights and obligations.

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