Does it mean a child can “lose” a parent when its family moves within the EU?
Yes! And it’s not only that. If something happens to the biological parent while the family is abroad, their child could become an orphan. Sometimes, children born to a same-sex family can’t get citizenship and risk ending up stateless. The fundamental rights to their identity, name, surname and nationality are denied. This means that same-sex families cannot move freely and cannot make plans for starting a life somewhere else.
Would it really be different for straight parents coming from different countries?
Let’s look at a concrete example. If a family was made of a Greek man and a British woman giving birth in Spain, from the moment the children were born they could have British nationality, Greek nationality and, a year later, Spanish nationality.
In the case of two moms, one Greek and the other British, having their children in Spain thanks to fertility treatments given to the Greek mom, they won’t have any nationality. That’s because Greece doesn’t accept two women on a birth certificate, the UK requires being married and undergoing fertility treatment within its borders, and in Spain you get the nationality from your parents, you don’t get Spanish nationality just from being born in Spain.
What happens when children have no nationality?
They won’t be able to get a passport and leave their country. This might seem trivial, but imagine if a parent's worst nightmare happened and their child was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease that requires travelling overseas to get the required treatment.
What if same-sex families are fully recognized in their own countries?
It doesn’t matter. If a same-sex family “goes on holiday to certain EU member states and something happens to the child, they may be unable to give medical consent or sign liability waivers as their legal relationship to the child is non-existent when they cross the border.” (Source)
And this can happen with same-sex couples who don’t have children, too: “If they have an accident let’s say and one needs to get consent, they will not be able to do that if they are not recognized,” says Alina Tryfonidou, a Professor of European Law at Neapolis University Pafos, to Euronews.
Are there other consequences for the families?
Yes, there are negative effects for couples on tax credits, inheritance rights, access to health care, parental leave.
LGBT+ parents face difficulties to travel with their children or to sign documents for school or other activities. They face problems getting discounts for zoos, theaters or public pools.
Children may even face problems as adults, e.g. when they try to get a marriage license with a non-recognized birth certificate stating same-sex parents.