The parliament on Friday rejected the amendment to the foster care bill under which same-sex and civil-union partners would be able to provide foster care to children, proposed by the liberal Croatian People’s Party (HNS), a junior partner in the coalition, who were absent from the parliament.
Last Friday, the bill was taken off the parliamentary committee’s agenda due to opposition from HNS over the way the bill defines foster family. The definition does not mention life partnership as a family union suitable for providing foster care.
Earlier this week, HNS MP Milorad Batinic said the party would abstain from voting for the bill unless their amendment was accepted.
Senior official in the Ministry for Family, Margerita Madjeric, said on Friday that, taking into account the children’s best interests and their protection, it was not possible to endorse the amendment in its present form.
On Tuesday, the LGBT rights organisation Zagreb Pride said that the new foster care bill, which does not allow same-sex couples to legally become foster parents, violates the law on life partnerships which puts common law spouses and their children on an equal footing with married couples,
Earlier this week, the influential ultra-conservative group U Ime Obitelji ("In the Name of the Family") issued a press release saying same-sex couples should not be allowed to adopt or foster children, as that "would not be in children's best interests".
More than 200 Croatian psychologists, social workers, and educators sent an open letter to the media on Tuesday, in which they debunked claims that there is any scientific value in claims that children raised by same-sex partners are in any way worse off than those growing up in traditional family units.