“Why can’t four people adopt together?”

13.01.2021 - 13:49
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Birgir Þór Harðarson - RÚV
A proposal to change Iceland’s marriage laws is set to be put to Alþingi. The proposal calls for registered partnerships to no longer be limited to two people. MPs for Píratar (the Pirates) are working on the proposal. A party MP says the current law does not reflect the zeitgeist today.

Explanatory documents say that gender identity and sexual orientation should no longer be relevant to the law on registered partnerships (which are different to marriage but have many of the same responsibilities and legal protections). People form all sorts of relationships over the course of a lifetime, and who with and how many should not be subject to legal restriction. 

It is anticipated the proposal will call on the justice minister to formally review the law. 

Björn Leví Gunnarsson, Píratar Member of Alþingi, is the proposal’s main signatory. He says society has taken many changes in recent decades and that the law should reflect that. 

The law was last changed in 2010 when marriage was reclassified as being between two individuals, rather than one man and one woman. 

“One automatically asks oneself, why not three? Why not more? Why can’t four people adopt a child, for example? Or siblings who have bought a house together? Why can’t they register a relationship and have all the rights that comes with?” Björn asks. 

He says it also relates to the rights of people in rental housing: “Several of my friends were renting a large apartment together some years ago and the problem there was that one of them was responsible for the rental contract while the others had no rights. That creates all sorts of problems when it comes to rental support and that sort of thing. So, there are currently maximum numbers that don’t actually need to be relevant.” 

Björn says he does not know of any similar legislation in other Western countries at this time, but that changing the rules on registered partnerships could benefit people when it comes to inheritance, personal tax discounts, and even adoption. 

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Alexander Elliott
Project manager