Finland has seen its first adoptions by same-sex couples.
They have come three years after a law allowing same-sex couples to legally marry and adopt went into effect. Adoption in Finland is a long process involving extensive counseling and preparation, so the first adoptions were not expected before now, according to the nation’s Rainbow Families Association, known in Finnish as Sateenkaariperheet.
The two adoptions confirmed so far have both come in the capital city of Helsinki, one by a male couple and one by a female couple, the association said in a press release this week. Neither family has been publicly identified. Several other same-sex couples are going through adoption counseling now or on waiting lists to do so.
The male couple found adoption officials in Helsinki to be “very positive and encouraging,” the Rainbow Families Association noted. “The family says they are aware of their family’s special status, but ‘we are still an ordinary family and rejoice in our normal baby routine,’” the press release stated.
“Adoption is especially important from the perspective of male couples … a new way to parenthood,” said Juha Jämsä, executive director of the Rainbow Families Association. “Adoption is unlikely to be the most common way for male couples to have children,” as many choose surrogacy or share parenting with a female couple or a single woman. “However, it is an important additional opportunity for men, whose opportunities to form a family with children as a whole have been very limited.”
Sanna Marin, who became Finland’s prime minister in December, grew up with two mothers and is a longtime proponent of equal treatment of all families. “For me, people have always been equal,” she said in 2015. “It’s not a matter of opinion. That’s the foundation of everything.”