Will same-sex couples also be allowed to adopt children?

If same-sex marriage is recognized, there is another debate regarding whether or not same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children. In most countries where same-sex marriage is recognized, same-sex couples are allowed to adopt children. For example, 1 out of 3 lesbian couples and 1 out of 5 gay couples in the United States, 9 % of same-sex couples in the Netherlands, and 1 out of 6 same-sex couples in Denmark are raising children.

Research is progressing about how children develop in a household with parents of the same sex, and results showing negative effects have yet to be seen. Regarding children being raised by parents of the same sex, the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2002 stated that analogous to parents of the opposite sex, children raised by parents of the same sex felt loved and safe and lived in healthy households. Among children raised by parents in general, this organization concluded that “there is no difference in the emotional, cognitive, social and sexual functioning of the child.” Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics indicated that a child’s development is affected much more by overall family connections within the household rather than the sole factor of growing up in a family structure with same-sex parents.

As for a same-sex couple, it is possible that one member of the couple gives birth to a child or that other methods, such as surrogacy, are used. In this situation, same-sex couples who are parents but cannot marry are unable to receive social and legal assistance for their children. Thus, allowing same-sex marriage will help improve the lives of these children.

Before the establishment of a same-sex marriage system, systems such as civil partnerships have been established in countries, but in many of these countries, same-sex couples are not allowed to jointly adopt children.

Finally, referring to current Japanese law, one parent is allowed to adopt children.