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Denmark: New Family Law Regulation: Co-Mother from Birth

(Dec. 11, 2013) On December 1, 2013, the new amendment to Denmark’s Børneloven (Child Act) that allows the non-birth mother in a lesbian relationship to become a co-mother immediately at the birth of the child, entered into force. The new legislation gives legal certainty to couples who previously could become co-parents only through adoption proceedings once the baby was born. (Press Release, Ministry of Social Affairs, Children and Integration, Muligheden for at blive medmor er nu en realitet (Dec. 2, 2103) Ministry website.)

Under the amended Act, the lesbian partner of the birth mother is made a co-parent directly, in a way similar to that in which a husband becomes the father of the child immediately after his wife gives birth. The legislation will continue to provide a means for the biological father, if known, to be registered and acknowledged as the father, if he so desires. (Id.; LOV nr 652 af 12/06/2013 om ændring af børneloven, lov om adoption, retsplejeloven og forskellige andre love (Medmoderskab m.v.), RETSINFORMATION.DK.)

Prepared by Elin Hofverberg, Foreign Law Research Consultant, under the supervision of Edith Palmer, Chief, Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Division II.