NELFA press release 17 September 2020


If you are a parent in one country, you are a parent in every country! – NELFA welcomes the recent State of the European Union by Ursula von der Leyen.

The Network of European LGBTIQ* Families Associations, NELFA, is lastingly impressed by the recent speech of the Commission President in Strasbourg and her clear support for the LGBTIQ* community, especially in Poland. Particularly, Ursula von der Leyen said, “The Commission will soon put forward a strategy to strengthen LGBTQI rights. As part of this, I will also push for mutual recognition of family relations in the EU. If you are a parent in one country, you are a parent in every country.” For the first time, a President of the EU Commission takes a clear stance on rainbow families and their legal recognition in all Member States. NELFA takes note of this important remark with great satisfaction. We want to thank Ms. von der Leyen for this statement.

NELFA’s President Eleni Maravelia says, “One of NELFA’s main missions is to ensure that rainbow families can move freely within the European Union. With this in mind, the recent State of the Union is a historic sign: Ursula von der Leyen wants to push for mutual recognition of family relations. Many LGBTIQ* parents – especially with children – are in legal limbo when crossing a border, familial ties cease to exist. The people concerned end up in bureaucratic nightmares, in court procedures or just give up and live with those inequalities. It’s reassuring that Ursula von der Leyen makes this issue a top priority.”

NELFA’s Vice President Dominique Boren adds, “Now, the Commission must turn words into deeds. A good speech is still no solution for the existing problems. As long as countries like Poland and Hungary block decisions on LGBTIQ* issues, it will be difficult to start legislative measures at EU level. We hope for clear proposals in the near future. But at the same time, we encourage progressive Member States to take action. They need to convince and help other countries to adopt adequate rules on the full recognition of rainbow families.”

NELFA is the European platform of LGBTIQ* families associations, bringing together LGBTIQ* parents and parents-to-be from all over Europe. NELFA currently represents 42 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:

Media contact: Björn Sieverding: +49 179 5277543


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

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