Controversial Foster-Care Bill Clears Greek Parliament

A bill that would allow couples who have signed a cohabitation agreement — including same-sex couples — to become foster parents has been approved by the Greek parliament.

One hundred and sixty-one lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, 103 against.

The bill has divided the country’s SYRIZA-Independent Greeks (ANEL) coalition.

Speaking during a parliamentary debate, PM Alexis Tsipras defended the bill, saying that “the state owes this to our fellow citizens who wish to perform the most human [expression] of our nature: to offer and receive love”.

“The major issue today is the state’s stance before children deprived of the opportunity to live a normal life, and growing up in institutions. (These) children who until now were unfortunately invisible to the state [are] the children of a lesser God, deprived of the right to live and grow up in a home, in a family,” he added.

Tsipras criticized some lawmakers and part of the media for concentrating solely on the provision that allows same-sex couples to become foster parents.

In a debate in parliament on Tuesday, ANEL lawmaker Konstantinos Katsikis compared homosexuality to pedophilia, adding: “These people [same-sex couples] do not want to use their ability to reproduce, but they want to become foster parents.”