Croatia court gives final nod to adoption by same-sex couples

“Taking into account the position of the European Court of Human Rights, the Court states that a different treatment of persons in similar situations, based exclusively on their sexual orientation, represents a form of discrimination,” said the ruling carried by Telegram.hr. [Shutterstock/DGLimages]

Same-sex couples are entitled to apply for child adoption as any other treatment would be discriminatory and not in line with European practice, Croatia’s high administrative court has said in a historic ruling that ended a same-sex couple’s six-year-long legal battle.

“Taking into account the position of the European Court of Human Rights, the Court states that a different treatment of persons in similar situations, based exclusively on their sexual orientation, represents a form of discrimination,” said the ruling carried by Telegram.hr.

Ivo Šegota and Marijan Kožić applied with a local social centre to adopt a child in 2016 but were refused by a series of different institutions, all of which said the current regulations in Croatia do not allow them to adopt.

The court’s ruling effectively rejected an appeal by the country’s ministry for demography, family and social policies that had sought to overturn a similar ruling by the Zagreb administrative court from 2021.

Croatia, which joined the European Union in 2013, is a staunchly Roman Catholic country, and the church wields considerable influence in public life.

Access to abortion – though nominally guaranteed by law up to 10 weeks of pregnancy – is becoming increasingly difficult in public hospitals as many doctors refuse to perform it, citing conscientious objection.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe