It has taken three years but Finland has now seen both a female and a male same-sex couple adopt children.
Lawmakers agreed to allow same-sex couples to adopt when they passed marriage equality. That was three years ago – the law came into force on 1 March 2017.
But the adoption process is a long and careful one.
In particular, the couples will have gone through a counselling period. This sees social workers check on whether a person or couple is ready to adopt. And it can take several years.
Now The Rainbow Families Association, Sateenkaariperheet, says at least two couples have adopted and the courts have confirmed the new families.
The first couple to adopt was male and the second was female. In both cases, they have adopted a child in the Finnish capital, Helsinki.
‘An ordinary family’
Sateenkaariperheet says (translated):
‘The first male couple to adopt a child wants to remain anonymous. They say they are more than happy to have a family now.
‘The family also praises the adoption team of the City of Helsinki for all the support they have given. In their experience, the attitude of the authorities towards the adoption of the rainbow family has been very positive and encouraging.
‘They are aware of their family’s special status, but says “we are still an ordinary family and rejoice in our normal baby routine.”’
Meanwhile the City of Helsinki says there are several same-sex couples, both male and female going through the adoption process.
Female couples often turn to insemination methods to have kids. But adoption is a particularly important route for male same-sex couples to start a family, Sateenkaariperheet says.
Moreover, same-sex couples could provide many more children with loving homes in future.
At the moment, there are around 250,000 adoptions worldwide each year. But that means just 1.5% of an estimated 16million global orphans find a new family each year.
Despite this, joint adoption by same-sex couples is only legal in twenty-seven countries, as well as some non-national jurisdictions.