Global LGBTQ+ activists are urging the Panamanian president to veto part of a new law that would exclude same-sex couples from being allowed to adopt children in Panama.
According to the language of Panama’s Bill 120, its aim is to reform adoption laws in the Central American Country “to protect children from unnecessary separation from their biological parents.”
The bill says only single persons or married couples, specifically comprised of “different-sex” partners, will be permitted to adopt children in Panama.
The country’s National Assembly passed the legislation on March 3rd, 2021. The bill is now heading to President Laurentino Cortizo’s desk to be signed into law.
The Human Rights Watch said if President Cortizo doesn’t veto articles 22 and 26 of the bill, it would “violate international human rights standards on non-discrimination, respect for private and family life, and the rights of the child, and perpetuate prejudices about lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people.”
More than a dozen Central and South American countries allow same-sex married couples to adopt children, including Mexico, Brazil, Columbia, Argentina, and Uraguay.
Currently, different-sex married couples and single people, including single LGBTQ+ people, can also adopt in more than a dozen Central and South American countries, including Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Honduras. However, many of those same countries have banned adoptions by same-sex couples who are married.