Zero gay adoptions in Sweden
In Sweden there are four adoption agencies, they are approved by the state and are responsible for all foreign adoptions to the country. Adoption Center is the largest of them. Through the years they have placed thousands of children to heterosexual couples in Sweden. However when it comes to gay couples it’s a rather different story. QX has been in contact with all of Sweden’s adoption agencies and none of them have ever passed a child to a gay couple.
Adoption Center: Not our fault
Helene Mohlin is the press officer at Adoption Center, she do not think that they can be blamed for the fact that no gay adoptions have ever been made.
– We do not find countries or organizations to suit certain groups in society, we find families for children. We focus our partnerships in places where there is a need for international adoption. Here in Sweden we might think that some countries have too many and strict requirements, but that’s just something that we’ll have to accept, says Mohlin.
With strict requirements Adoption Center is referring to the fact that several countries do not approve of gay adoptions, such as China, South Korea and Colombia. However it is Adoption Center that determines which countries they will cooperate with, and today they do not cooperate with any contacts that accept gay adoptions. The result is that gay couples are unable to adopt children despite the Swedish legislation.
What have you done in the past decade to begin cooperating with countries that accept gay adoptions?
– Our priority is to find suitable families for children. We do not focus on any particular group of parents when we make that priority. We work where we are needed, not where in the world same-sex couples are approved as adoptive parents, says Mohlin.
When QX ask Adoption Center what they think about the fact that no international gay adoptions have ever been made, they cannot answer us, the question is extremely sensitive. According to Helene Mohlin their foreign contacts can take offense if they take a stand on this particular issue.
“Gay Adoptions is basically impossible”
Ulrika Westerlund is the General Secretary for the Swedish organization RFSL, National Association for LGBT Rights, according to her, many same-sex couples are aware about the difficulties of becoming parents through international adoptions.
– If your life dream is parenthood, do not think that this will come true through international adoptions. It is almost impossible today, instead many gay couples are trying surrogacy, says Westerlund.
”Children should primarily be given a new mom and dad”
When the new law on gay adoptions was under discussion in 2002, there were several organizations that turned against it. One of them was Adoption Center. In October 2001, they wrote the following to stop the new law:
An orphaned child shall first be given a new mom and dad. Otherwise Sweden’s credibility as an adoption country could be questioned.
However according to Adoption Center this is not their view anymore. Since the law on gay adoptions was passed in 2002 Adoption Center has changed their values.
– We changed our values on this subject a long time ago. Today we welcome same-sex couples just like everyone else to apply for adoption, says Mohlin.
You claim that you welcome same-sex couples to apply, yet it is impossible for them to adopt through you, isn’t that sort of contradictory?
– It is possible that some may feel that way, says Mohlin.
In the following countries gay adoptions are legal: Andorra, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Guam, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, UK, Sweden, South Africa, Uruguay, France, New Zealand. And parts of Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United States.