NELFA press release 07 February 2020


EU: Free movement for rainbow families! – NELFA just published a new report on the cross-border recognition of LGBTIQ* couples/parents with children

The Network of European LGBTIQ* Families Associations, NELFA, remains faithful to its mission and claims on equal rights for rainbow families. They still face a series of difficulties when crossing borders within the EU. Already established legal ties cease to exist, core benefits disappear, some children can’t get citizenship and are left behind in statelessness.

These obstacles stem from the fact that Member States have different regulations in their family law and the current EU Directive on freedom of movement (2004/38/EC) is not clear and inclusive enough to ensure the cross-border recognition of rainbow families.

At a meeting with the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights and EU Commissioner Helena Dalli (Equality), NELFA was able to raise awareness of the current situation and called for a sustainable change. On this occasion, a new research report was handed over, together with a first range of signatures of a petition campaign with All Out.

You can find the full report, written by Professor Alina Tryfonidou (Reading/UK), here.

NELFA’s President Eleni Maravelia says, “This document is a real jewel! It analyses EU law and shows very clearly that Member States have already the obligation to ensure the recognition of rainbow families in cross-border situations. Furthermore, the report gives advice on how this topic could be treated by the EU institutions within the next few years. NELFA is very pleased with the ongoing support of the Intergroup on LGBTI rights and the announcement of Commissioner Dalli to take care of rainbow families during her mandate!”

NELFA’s Vice President Björn Sieverding adds, “We are confident that the legal recognition of rainbow families can be improved in the new EU legislature. More and more Member States are aware of the existing legal gaps and want to collaborate on this. Our recent collection provides evidence that a lot of cases are crying out for quick solutions – in particular to protect our children. They are the most vulnerable persons in this conflict.”

NELFA is the European platform of LGBTIQ* families associations, bringing together LGBTIQ* parents and parents-to-be from all over Europe. NELFA currently represents 41 organisations in 33 European countries with more than 20,000 members. NELFA is a member of ILGA-Europe, Transgender Europe and COFACE Families Europe. Website: Leaflet: Newsletter:

Further contacts:

Eleni Maravelia (President): +34 666 862 034

Björn Sieverding (Vice President): +32 498 70 80 75


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


©2021 NELFA aisbl 845937097 - Network of European LGBTIQ* Families Associations - Greetings to all LGBTIQ* families, friends, activists out there.

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?