The Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) passed an Act which provides that two adults will be allowed to contract marriage regardless of their gender from 1 January 2024. The Act had been declared to be a matter of confidence in the Government before its second reading. The implementing acts of the Registered Partnership Act would also be passed with the Act.
In addition to marriage, the possibility of concluding a cohabitation contract will remain, and according to the Act, registered partners will be able to make a simplified transition to marriage.
The Act will specify the regulation on filiation in the Family Law Act in connection with same-sex couples’ right to adopt. Same-sex spouses will get the right to adopt together through marriage equality. A spouse of the same sex will be able to adopt their spouse’s child with the consent of the biological parent of the child. The Act sets out the principle that a child may not have more than two parents. The principle that in particular the biological parents have the rights and obligations relating to the child will be maintained. The female spouse of the mother will have the relationship of filiation with the child when she grants her consent to the artificial insemination of the mother. When making amendments to the Bill before the second reading, the Government took into account the proposals of the Estonian Centre Party Parliamentary Group in order to set out more clearly in all Acts the principle that the second parent next to the mother is still first and foremost the father.
The Act will adopt the amendments enabling to realise to the full extent in practice the rights and obligations arising from the Registered Partnership Act adopted in 2014. The rights and obligations arising directly from registered partnership contract will not change. It will be possible for a registered partner to adopt only their registered partner’s child.
The Bill passed the first reading on 22 May, and 711 motions to amend it had been submitted by the deadline. On 15 June, the Government had decided to declare the passing of the Bill a matter of confidence before the second reading and thereby also taken over the duties of the lead committee.
The sitting of the Riigikogu will continue according to the agenda with the second and third readings of Bills. The extraordinary session will continue until all items on the agenda have been deliberated.