Same-sex female couples to have equal maternity rights in Germany

Same-sex female couples to have equal maternity rights in Germany

The German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann has come out in support of equal parental rights (including, for example, custody and parental leave) for lesbian couples who are married and residing in Germany. The minister said that it should be the norm that the two mothers who are married to each other should be “recognised as parents in the sense of joint motherhood."

Many feel the current laws on parental rights in Germany need updating 

At the moment, there is no regulation on the parental status of same-sex female couples in Germany, meaning that only the biological mother of the child is regarded as a parent, while their partner is not recognised as a parent without having to first adopt the child or children.

“If a child is born into a marriage between a man and a woman, the man – regardless of biological paternity – is legally the father,” Federal Minister Buschmann told the Rheinische Post in an interview. “The question is: why should this be different in a marriage between two women?” Minister Buschmann added. 

Germany’s traffic-light coalition backs legal changes

Buschmann is not the only politician to feel the laws need updating. His comments are in line with what the SPD, Greens and FDP set out as a goal in their coalition agreement created at the end of 2021. The agreement states: “If a child is born into the marriage of two women, both are automatically legal mothers of the child, unless otherwise agreed.”

Reforms to the law have been proposed for a long time. The requirement for mothers in a same-sex partnership to have to submit adoption papers “is rightly perceived as discriminatory by lesbian couples," said Christine Lambrecht (SPD) in mid-2020, adding that “a mother should not have to adopt her own child."

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. After this, she obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in...

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