news blog

This NELFA news blog contains current information concerning rainbow families, important LGBTIQ* news in general and it summarises recent activities of NELFA Board members or member organisations. You find older entries in our newsletters.

BRUSSELS, 17 September 2020: NELFA, is lastingly impressed by the recent State of the Union speech of 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. Read our press release. (graphic: NELFA)

COPENHAGEN, 11 September 2020: NELFA has a new full member from Denmark – LGBT komiteen! It’s a lobby organisation and the committee itself currently consists of three long-term LGBT activists: Tina Thranesen, Martin Iversen Christensen and Søren Laursen. Most recently, on 22nd of August, LGBT komiteen informed about historic legislation initiatives, launched by the government. For example: same-sex parents with children conceived at home can be recognised automatically upon birth and trans parents will be recognised according to their gender. (graphic: LGBT komiteen)

BRUSSELS, 01 September 2020: NELFA has applied successfully for new Erasmus+ project. It is entitled “Rainbow Families 2020 – Together For a Better Future” and is dedicated to the empowerment of NELFA, to strengthen its educational activities for the well-being of rainbow families in a (possibly) non-welcoming environment. Partners of this project will be the consultancy “In Dialogue” and our Croatian full member “Dugine obitelji“. More info soon here. (graphic: NELFA)

BUCHAREST, 14 August 2020: There is a new trial to define the term “family” in the Romanian Constitution as connection between man and woman (by ignoring existing diversity: from single parents with kids up to rainbow families). A referendum in 2018 failed, now it’s obviously a group of politicians that ignores all hard-won progress and started a legislative initiative against diversity. NELFA’s supporting member Accept Romania says the only intention would be to seed hate against LGBTIQ*.

GERMANY, 14 August 2020: Finally, good news from Germany. A new (long-expected) bill – announced by the Minister of Justice, Christine Lambrecht (SPD) – wants equality for lesbian couples with children! They should be recognised as legal mothers from birth of their child – an adoption won’t be necessary anymore. The bill will be now discussed in the government. Read more. (photo: Westend61/Imago Images)

BERN, 12 August 2020: The Council of States in Switzerland needs more time to review the marriage equality bill – the final decision is to be expected in winter (and not in autumn as planned). LGBTIQ* activists have reacted with disappointment. But they are still confident that there will be a sustainable law in the end. Read more. (photo: Jean-Baptiste Burbaud)

WARSAW, 08 August 2020: NELFA stands with nonbinary activist Margot Szutowicz who has been placed in pretrial detention, in the latest example of Polish authorities’ anti-LGBTIQ* actions. Forty-eight other people, from a crowd of supporters, were also briefly detained, insulted and humiliated. Read more and see some pictures. Our NELFA member FTR in Poznań experiences an increasing number of hate crime incidents, also against members of rainbow families. We sharply condemn any kind of hostile comments and actions against the entire LGBTIQ* community. (photo: Rafał Milach)

PRAGUE, 03 August 2020: The marriage equality campaign in the Czech Republic is in a sort of holding pattern. The Parliament had this topic already on the agenda, but a final vote is still missing. Meanwhile, the initiative jsme fér has started an online petition campaign. You can see a video with campaign leader Czeslaw Walek here. (photo: jsme fér)

PARIS, 01 August 2020: It’s still not law – but a good step forward… the National Assembly adopted the bioethics bill, the flagship measure of which is the opening of medically assisted procreation (PMA) to all women (means: also singles and lesbian couples). The Senate will discuss the bill most probably at the end of the year. Read more. (photo:

GDANSK, 29 July 2020: NELFA is happy with Azara and her Polish mothers from Mallorca. For a long time, the girl remained stateless (see NELFA’s All Out campaign). The reason is that Poland doesn’t recognise any foreign birth certificate stating joint motherhood. Azara couldn’t get citizenship and a social security number (PESEL). But, after months of struggles and many efforts of LGBTIQ* activists and lawyers, the city of Gdansk issued at least a PESEL. Read more. (photo: Alena Shumchyk)

WARSAW, 13 July 2020: Poland’s presidential election has been won by Andrzej Duda who is backed by the right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS). The anti-LGBTIQ* politician said in his campaign that he aims to add a ban on adoptions by same-sex couples to the Constitution. Quote: “To guarantee the safety and a correct education for children, and for the Polish state to safeguard their rights, I think there should be such a provision”. Read more here. (photo: Reuters)

DUBLIN, 09 July 2020: Jenna and Mary are among the first Irish same-sex couples to both be legally recognised as the parents of their child. The commencement of parts Two and Three of the Child and Family Relationships Act has given the courts jurisdiction to make retrospective declarations of parentage for children born through donor-assisted human reproduction prior to May 4 2020. At the moment, this only covers certain families. Read more. Another recent article describes the problems many Irish families still face. (photo:

GENEVA, 07 July 2020: The Global Interfaith Network had invited to a very interesting webinar, entitled “The Respect and Recognition of Diverse Families in Times of a Global Pandemic”, with former NELFA President Maria von Känel and Moderator Caroline Ausserer (who was NELFA Board member, too). See it here. (graphic: Global Interfaith Network) 

BRUSSELS, 07 July 2020: NELFA held a webinar to explain how EU citizens – respectively rainbow families and LGBTIQ* organisations – can submit a petition to the European Parliament. The webinar is part of a broader campaign to accompany a recent survey among EU Member States about freedom of movement struggles for LGBTIQ* parents and their children. The aim is to push the EP’s Committee on Petitions to take care of this topic. Read the full NELFA presentation. (graphic: NELFA)

BARCELONA, 06 July 2020: NELFA President Eleni Maravelia (FLG) informed about the difficult “freedom of movement” for rainbow families within the EU and why NELFA is lobbying for solutions. The Catalan Pride Radio “ORGULL” broadcasted an interesting interview. It was entitled: “Problemes per viatjar a Europa si ets família LGBT”. (photo:

STRASBOURG, 06 July 2020: The European Court of Human Rights just informed the Polish government about official complaints concerning the non-recognition of same-sex partnerships and marriages in the country. A good step forward – in difficult times. One case is about a gay couple. They decided to get married in Spain, but the authorities of one partner’s home country Poland rejected the request to issue a necessary document. Read more. (photo:

ZAGREB, 5 July 2020: The capital of Croatia experienced its first Pride Ride event. An intense celebration of LGBTIQ* rights with the necessary social distance in these corona times.Around 500 people on bikes took part, inter alia activists of NELFA’s member Dugine obitelji. You can find a range of very nice impressions in this gallery. (photo: Ponosni Zagreb)

BERLIN, 3 July 2020: The Federal Council in Germany has rejected a law that would worsen the situation of families with two mothers. It’s about new adoption rules and mandatory consultations. As long as two mothers cannot become legal parents from birth, the new rules would mean an additional burden. NELFA’s member LSVD issued a press release. (photo: LSVD)

MOSCOW, 2 July 2020: NELFA is sad about the recent political development in Russia. Nearly three-quarters of voters have opted to back an amended constitution that reinforces a ban on same-sex marriage… and enables President Putin to stay in power until he is 83. Read more in this article. (photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

PODGORICA, 1 July 2020: Great news come from Montenegro – where partnership legislation passed with a vote of 42 for and only 5 against. The country is now the first one from the Balkan region EU accession countries to recognise same-sex couples. The bill was first rejected in August 2019 after being met with strong resistance by the Serbian Orthodox Church, the largest religious community in the country. Read more. (graphic: OutRight Action International)

AMSTERDAM, 30 June 2020: The Second Chamber in the Netherlands voted for an amendment in article one of the constitution (Grondwet) to anchor LGBTIQ* rights for the future. The organisation COC Nederland fought more than 20 years for this change. The bill was already prepared in 2010 and it will still take a while until the amendment can be approved (to be expected in 2021). Read more here [in Dutch]. (photo: COC Nederland)

BARCELONA, 28 June 2020: NELFA’s full member organisation FLG celebrated its Family Pride 2020. Although the coronacrisis made the event very difficult, many rainbow families came (with their masks!) and perpuated themselves in a big, colourful poster with drawings and pictures. You can find a range of photos in this FLG gallery. (photo: Eleni Maravelia)

BRUSSELS, 27 June 2020: 57 million internet users took part in Global Pride 2020. The online event was a replacement for many Pride parades that couldn’t take place due to the coronacrisis. In celebration of Global Pride, ILGA launched its World Map on Sexual Orientation in 20 languages. Read more here. For rainbow families, there are still many legal gaps – a day before Global Pride, Brussels Times had published a corresponding testimony of Dan Sobovitz. (photo: Global Pride)

BRUSSELS, 15 June 2020: NELFA has published a new tool concerning the freedom of movement of LGBTIQ* people (with children) and the complaint procedure in the EU. Our main aim is to encourage rainbow families to bring their cross-border struggles to EU level, to raise awareness and to find solutions. NELFA currently asks its membership to petition the European Parliament. Our Spanish member FLG just issued such a complaint. Read more in our section legal service. (graphic: NELFA)

ROME, 11 June 2020: Some years ago, a group of close friends in Italy have decided to found Boundless Rainbow Love, a thematic LGBTIQ* page that addresses issues such as disability and gender equality. This time, writer Katya Parente interviewed NELFA Board member Björn Sieverding about the Network’s advocacy efforts at EU level. Read more (in Italian). (photo: Boundless Rainbow Love)

BERN, 11 June 2020: It’s an important step forward concerning marriage equality in Switzerland! The National Council (a chamber of the Parliament) has voted for same-sex marriages and an equal access to fertility treatment for lesbian couples! The next important decision will take place in the second chamber, the Swiss Council of States. Read more. (photo:

WARSAW, 10 June 2020: The election campaign of President Duda in Poland has started and it includes an anti-LGBTIQ* narrative. Duda wants to be re-elected with an agenda “to defend the children from LGBT ideology” in education. His “Family Charter” sees marriage as union between men and women only and excludes same-sex couples from adoption. Read more. (photo: G. Jakubowski/KPRP)

MOSCOW, 08 June 2020: Since some days, a homophobic video goes viral. It’s about a fake “gay adoption” to promote the planned same-sex marriage ban in Russia. Read more. In the meantime, YouTube blocked the TV commercial because of hate speech. But you can still find it, i.e. in this German article. And we share this twitter flashmob of artists who redesigned the rainbow family – with love, joy and pride! (photo: LGBT discussion group on Facebook)

BRUSSELS, 05 June 2020: Two years ago, Adrian Coman and Claibourn Hamilton made LGBTIQ* history. The European Court of Justice ruled in their favour, same-sex spouses are covered by the freedom of movement Directive. However, Romania still has problems to implement the Coman jugdment and many legal gaps for rainbow families in the EU remain. The EP’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights urges the EU Commission to take action. Read more. (photo: Accept Romania)

BRUSSELS, 01 June 2020: Within the last month, major studies were published – by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), ILGA-Europe, Transgender Europe and the EU Commission. They are all related to rainbow families and their rights. NELFA tried to summarise the main results and to give some added value. You can find our new overview here. (graphic: NELFA)

RIGA, 01 June 2020: Good news from Latvia! For the first time, the Social and Employment Matters Committee of the Parliament has decided to start an official consultation into the drafting of an (LGBT) life spouse partnerships bill, which will take place over the summer. Latvia is still one of six countries within the European Union without any recognition for same-sex partners. Read more (in Latvian). (photo:, Saeimas administracija)

PARIS, 30 May 2020: Deputies, organisations, lawyers, doctors and other public figures have started a joint call for a new bioethics law debate from September. The discussions in the Parliament about fertility treatment for single women and lesbian couples were postponed due to the coronacrisis. Before the calendar got mixed up, the law was expected to be adopted in May 2020. Read more (in French). (photo: AFP).

BERLIN, 28 May 2020: The German Parliament (Bundestag) just decided on new rules for adoption procedures. There will be more mandatory consultations. Unfortunately, it deepens the discrimination of rainbow families: For lesbian couples with children it’s already a burden to undergo a stepchild adoption to become legal parents. With the new law it becomes more difficult. Read more about the debate and reactions of activists (in German). (photo: Bundestag)

OSLO, 26 May 2020: The Parliament in Norway just decided to allow egg donation and assisted insemination for single women. The decision in Storting took place after an unusual alliance of three opposition parties. Assisted reproductive techniques were already available for (same-sex) couples. Read more (in Norwegian). (photo: Havard Gronli, NRK)

DUBLIN, 23 May 2020: Ireland’s LGBTIQ* community  is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the successful Marriage Equality referendum – the first one in the world. Voters were asked whether to add to the Constitution that “marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex”. The proposal was approved by more than 62 % of voters. You find some nice photos under #MarRefMemories. (photo: GCN)

BUDAPEST, 19 May 2020: The Hungarian Parliament overwhelmingly voted to end legal gender recognition for trans people. Article 33 was ballooned into power, the latest legislation sworn in under Prime Minister Orbán’s emergency power measures (due to the coronacrisis). It stipulates that gender should be defined as “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes”. This tramples the rights of trans and intersex people. Read more. (photo: Riccardo Pareggiani, NurPhoto)

BRUSSELS, 15 May 2020: NELFA celebrates the International Day of Families. The COVID-19 pandemic brings into sharp focus the importance of investing in social policies protecting the most vulnerable individuals and families. The UN state, “It is the families who bear the brunt of the crisis, sheltering their members from harm, caring for out of school children and at the same time continuing their work responsibilities”. Watch a nice video of our member FLG. (graphic: NELFA members)

BRUSSELS, 14 May 2020: In light of the COVID-19 crisis, the ILGA-Europe Rainbow Map 2020 shows we have come to a pivotal moment for LGBTI people’s human rights. There has been no positive change in 49% of countries. Countries are still moving backwards, as existing protections are disappearing. And: There were only a few positive changes for rainbow families. Read ILGA’s press release, the Rainbow Map and the Index. (graphic: ILGA-Europe)

VIENNA, 14 May 2020: The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, FRA, just published its long expected second LGBTI survey report. It is entitled “A long way to go for LGBTI equality”. With 140,000 respondents, it is the largest ever survey on hate crime and discrimination against LGBTI people. 14 % of those questioned raise children.Unfortunately, the results for rainbow families are based on a small number of responses and therefore statistically less reliable. Read FRA’s press release and watch a corresponding video.  (graphic: FRA)

LONDON, 07 May 2020: NELFA Board members took part at a webinar of the European Network on Statelessness (ENS) and the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Children’s Rights. It was entitled “Birth registration and the prevention of statelessness in Europe”. Regularly, NELFA raises awareness of certain cases with stateless children because of the non-recognition of birth certificates stating two mothers. Find some shared documents during the webinar: A study of the Council on Refugees and Exiles, an ENS briefing paper and the statelessness index. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

BRUSSELS, 05 May 2020: Finland is preparing a new Parental law and the government could be a real trendsetter – with a comprehensive multi-parenting law. Together with ILGA-Europe we wrote a letter to Prime Minister Sanna Marin to address the needs of rainbow families in the new law. NELFA’s national member Sateenkaariperheet ry in Helsinki issued a corresponding press release. In the Netherlands, a promising bill was watered down last summer. Actually, the government collects online comments. (graphic: Sateenkaariperheet ry)

DUBLIN, 04 May 2020: From today, many lesbian couples in Ireland get joint parenthood when they become mothers. The final parts of the Children and Family Relationship Act 2015 come into force. But who will be covered by the law and what steps are involved in obtaining legal parental recognition? NELFA’s member organisation LGBT Ireland gives the necessary insights. (graphic: LGBT Ireland)

GENEVA, 03 May 2020: The International Family Equaity Day was celebrated in 62 countries and 152 towns. NELFA members from all over Europe contributed with nice films, photos, drawings (especially family trees). The EP’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights issued a statement. This year’s motto was “Family Diversity in Education”. You can find a lot of input in social media with the hastag #IFED2020. (collage: NELFA – with contributions from Spain, Germany, Hungary and Belgium)

BRUSSELS, 30 April 2020: How to start a complaint for breach of EU law? How to raise awareness about cross-border problems of a rainbow family? This was discussed during a webinar with ILGA-Europe and high-level legal experts, i.e. from France, Romania, UK, and the EU Commission. NELFA took part with several Board members. You can already find some useful advice here and on ou legal service webpage. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

ZAGREB, 29 April 2020: The Croatian Rainbow Family Organisation Dugine obitelji (with NELFA Secretary Daniel Martinovic) met up with President Zoran Milanović to discuss recent LGBTIQ* topics and how to advance rainbow family rights together. One hot potato in the country is the question of LGBTIQ* foster care. See a recent film of the German public broadcaster ZDF about the couple concerned, Ivo+Mladen. Another ZDF-report on “Jane – My rainbow family” was published on Croatian TV. Religious extremists tried to avoid this via a petition. (photo:

PARIS, 28 April 2020: Reportedly, a French-Tunesian gay couple were able to get their marriage recognised in the North African country and mentioned on the Tunisian man’s birth certificate – as is customary – according to the LGBTIQ* organisation Shams. However, the government in Tunis has immediately denied the recognition. Homosexuality is illegal in Tunisia and punishable with up to three years in prison. Read more in this article. (photo: Shutterstock)

BELGRADE, 23 April 2020: NELFA’s full member ERA (the LGBTI Equal Rights Association) is an umbrella organisation for Western Balkans and Turkey. A lot of governments in the regions still don’t care too much, but the rainbow families movement is gaining momentum. ERA is highlighting the topic in April 2020 and just published a special edition of their newsletter concerning LGBTIQ* parenting. Read it here. (photo: Dugine obitelji)

BRUSSELS, 23 April 2020: Despite the current corona-challenges, the International Family Equality Day (IFED) will be celebrated on the 3rd of May 2020. The motto is “Family Diversity in Education”. Like in the past, all (rainbow) families are invited to take part and… to take action! The IFED Network in Geneva is collecting inclusive educational material and encourages rainbow families to send pictures and drawings of family trees and/or other colourful pictures. More information in NELFA’s current Facebook notice. (graphic: NELFA/IFED Network)

HELSINKI, 20 April 2020: Same-sex marriages and joint adoptions are possible in Finland since 2017. Three years later, the first same-sex adoptions have taken place. According to NELFA’s full member Sateenkaariperheet ry, a female couple and a male couple have both adopted infants in the capital city region. In Finland, thos decisions are made by a special working group and this procedure can take several years. Read more. (photo:

WARSAW, 16 April 2020: Polish MPs have voted to delay two bills that – if approved – would have further restricted access to abortion and ban sex education. The controversial pieces of legislation are now sent back to committee stage. The sex education bill would impose a penalty of up to three years in prison for teachers who provide sex education to children. Supporters had stated that sex education would “familiarise” children with homsexuality and would be used by the “LGBT lobby” to achieve “radical goals” like gay adoption. Read more. (photo: Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty)

SARAJEVO, 16 April 2020: Bosnia and Herzegovina takes first small steps towards recognising same-sex relationships. The so-called Federation, one of the country’s semi-autonomous political entities, will obviously draft legislation to regulate the rights of LGBTIQ* couples – for the first time. The procedure includes also a meeting with rainbow activists. Read more. (photo: Elvis Barukcic/AFP via Getty)

POZNAN, 06 April 2020: After the cancellation of NELFA’s Annual General Meeting (due to the coronavirus) the Board remains hopeful. New date for our weekend in Poland with seminar, film show, and the meeting with local rainbow families is now 25-27th of September 2020. Organiser is Fundacja Tęczowe Rodziny (FTR) and this is the program. (graphic: NELFA)

BRUSSELS, 02 April 2020: NELFA just co-signed a letter of the US-NGO Men Having Babies (MHB). It was sent to relevant Congress and Senate members and raises awareness of rainbow families in dramatic situations due to the corona-crises. National restrictions (i.e. in the USA) prevent them from travelling or from taking care of their newborn children (through surrogacy). Read the full letter here. NELFA issued a communiqué with details in late March. (photo: Getty Images)

BRUSSELS, 28 March 2020: NELFA has a new Board! Today, the Annual General Meeting took place online – due to the coronavirus. We have now 12 Board Members from nine countries. Eleni Maravelia (Spain) remains President. Vice President is now Dominique Boren (France), Christoph R. Alms (Germany) is elected Treasurer and Daniel Martinovic (Croatia) will continue as Secretary of the Board. All AGM documents were approved with a vast majority. (photo: Giovanni Fantoni)

BRUSSELS,  23 March 2020: The coronavirus pandemic leaves (rainbow) families in dramatic cross-border situations. Dozens of singles and couples (with medical fertility treatment abroad or conducting surrogacy journeys out of Europe) experience critical times because of current restrictions. NELFA tries to raise awareness of these struggles and issued a communiqué with details. In the meantime, gaystarnews and pinknews have reported on the facts and the US American organisation Men Having Babies MHB offers a new webpage with help. (graphic: NELFA)

ANDORRA LA VELLA,  20 March 2020: The ruling government of the small country has drafted a bill that would also recognise same-sex marriage. Its likely to become law in summer. LGBTIQ* people have already the possibility to enter a civil union (since 2014), even joint adoption is already possible. Read more. (graphic: Getty Images)

BRUSSELS, 20 March 2020: It’s a great development at EU level for rainbow families in cross-border situations! The EP’s Intergroups on LGBTI Rights and Children’s Rights just joined forces and issued a common letter to Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli (with support from NELFA!). More than 60 MEPs call for a better recognition of LGBTIQ* parents and their children whenever they exercice their freedom of movement within the EU. Read the full letter here. (graphic: NELFA)

BRUSSELS, 12 March 2020: Due to the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing restrictions across Europe, the NELFA Board decided to cancel the upcoming rainbow families weekend in Poznań, Poland (27-29 March 2020). Seminar, film and local families gathering will be postponed, possible alternative date is 25-27 September 2020, but we still need to confirm this. The Annual General Meeting on 28th of March will be held online! Members will be informed separately with further details. Read more. (graphic: NELFA)

FRANKFURT, 06-08 March 2020: Several NELFA (Board) members joined the 3rd edition of the Euro LGBT Family Law Institute meeting. It was a wonderful occasion for an exchange of current struggles and future ideas how to advance the rights of LGBTIQ* people and their families. 16 legal experts from many European countries (and the USA) attended the meeting in the German banking hub, some followed the discussions online. NELFA thanks Diana Adams for the organisation of this yearly highlight and is grateful to all participants for their bravery! (photo: Diana Adams)

STOCKHOLM, 28 February 2020: Good news from Sweden! The government will examine until June 2021 how rainbow families – who were already established abroad – can be fully recognised, without a new adoption procedure that is currently necessary in some cases. An important step towards freedom of movement!! Read more (in Swedish).(photo:

IMOTSKI, 23 February 2020: At a carnival event in the Croatian city (Bavoka povorka), an effigy of a same-sex couple holding a child was burned at the ceremony to widespread cheers. Many people condemned this action afterwards, politicians have already announced to file a criminal complaint against the organisers (Read more). NELFA is also very worried about this incident and will write a letter to the Permanent Representation of Croatia to the EU in Brussels. (photo:

BUDAPEST, 20 February 2020: Hungarian’s Prime Minister Victor Orban just issued a memorandum for the European People’s Party (EPP) to fight i.e. marriage equality. He states, “We gave up the family model based on matrimony of one woman and one man, and fell into the arms of gender ideology”. Political scientist Rémy Bonny (Belgium) warns for the impact of this call. Read more. (photo:

STUTTGART, 19 February 2020: A broad alliance of more than 40 organisations demonstrated against a symposium of the anti-LGBTIQ* movement “Demo für Alle”. Several speakers called on equal rights for rainbow families and promoted diversity. Read a summary of the event here. (photo: Beobachter News)

BRUSSELS, 17 February 2020: NELFA Board member Giuseppina La Delfa (Famiglie Arcobaleno) took part at a conference that was organised by the EU Commission. It was entitled “Preparatory action for a Child Guarantee” and gave an opportunity to discuss with stakeholders the findings of the feasibility study for a so-called Child Guarantee. In a 2015 resolution on reducing inequalities with a special focus on child poverty, the European Parliament called on the Commission and Member States to introduce such an instrument. (photo: EU Commission via

CARRICKFERGUS, 11 February 2020: Robyn Peoples and Sharni Edwards of Belfast made history by getting married – the first same-sex couple in Northern Ireland. The day marks their sixth anniversary as a couple and they had booked a civil partnership ceremony already months before the legislation was passed last summer. When it became clear the first marriages could take place, they changed their ceremony to a wedding. Read more. (photo: Mark Marlow/EPA)

WARSAW, 11 February 2020: There are again sad news from Poland. The Supreme Administration Court (NSA) just confirmed that it is impossible to transcribe a foreign birth certificate stating two mothers. Activists and legal experts hope that LGBTIQ* friendly city offices will enable citizenship and health care for the children concerned – regardless the recent decision. Read more in this article (in Polish). (photo: Dawid Żuchowicz, Agencja Gazeta)

ZURICH, 10 February 2020: Voters in Switzerland have backed a new law to ban homophobia, in a landmark moment for the country’s LGBTIQ* community (Read more). NELFA’s member organisation Dachverband Regenbogenfamilien hopes that this decision will push the current marriage equality campaign and the inclusion of further rights (access to assisted insemination and joint parenthood rights for lesbian couples from birth). Read more. (photo: Dachverband Regenbogenfamilien)

BRUSSELS, 09 February 2020: NELFA took part at the Annual General Meeting of it’s Belgian member organisation Homoparentalités. The group plays a special role for the Network because it’s based in Brussels, means close by the EU institutions. Homoparentalités decided to send a candidate for the NELFA Board election in March. Besides this, a nice children’s programme was organised – for example a book reading with a drag queen from Liège. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

ZAGREB, 07 February 2020: It’s a whirl situation in Croatia concerning foster care possibilities for registered same-sex partners. Only a few days after the refusal of the Social Welfare Centre in Zagreb to accept a gay couple as possible foster parents (Mladen Kožić and Ivo Šegota), the Constitutional Court has finally clarified: same-sex couples have the right to apply jointly to provide foster care. Read more (photo: Dugine obitelji)

BELFAST, 06 February 2020: Sharni Edwards and Robyn Peoples will be the first couple to take advantage of Northern Ireland legalising same-sex marriages next week. The couple announced the news at a press conference with the Love Equality campaign who helped to change the law. Read more. (photo:, Getty Images)

BARI, 05 February 2020: The Court of Appeal just confirmed the registration of a child with two mothers. The city administration had recognised a corresponding birth certificate, but the Ministery of the Interior wanted to stop the transcription – finally without success. The rainbow family will be registered – the Court decided in favour of the recognition because of the well-being of the child. The procedure wouldn’t be against the public order. Read more. (Rete Lenford)

BRUSSELS, 04 February 2020: NELFA took part in a meeting with new Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, and the re-established Intergroup on LGBTI Rights in the European Parliament. Vice President Björn Sieverding (LSVD) shared current problems of rainbow families and the recent ALL OUT campaign. It was also the occasion to publish Alina Tryfonidou’s research report on “The cross-border recognition of rainbow families under EU law”. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

REYKJAVÍK, 30 January 2020: NELFA welcomes ICELAND and its LGBTIQ* community as part of our European network of rainbow families! Samtökin ’78 just joined NELFA as a new full member organisation. They host for example a special group of queer parents and guardians who do meet regularly at Samtökin HQ. (photos: Samtökin ’78)

BUCHAREST, 29 January 2020: In record time, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has opened legal proceedings after the complaint of 21 Romanian rainbow families! With help of NELFA’s supporting member Accept, they call for a legal recognition of their partnerships. Romania is one of six countries within the EU who don’t provide civil unions for LGBTIQ* people. Read more (in Romanian). (photo: Accept Romania)

ZURICH, 29 January 2020: The Swiss Federal Council is against the option to combine a marriage equality legislation with the access for lesbian women to assisted insemination and an easier and better recognition of legal familial ties. NELFA fully agrees with the position of Dachverband Regenbogenfamilien (in German). (photo: Dachverband Regenbogenfamilien)

BERLIN, 29 January 2020: NELFA’s member LSVD just launched a campaign with ALL OUT concerning the recognition of joint motherhood. Non-biological parents still need to undergo a stepchild adoption procedure and new legislative plans could even worsen the situation. Read more and sign in here. (photo: LSVD)

BRUSSELS, 29 January 2020: The preparation for NELFA’s next Annual General Meeting (AGM) is in full swing. It will take place in Poznań, Poland, from 27 to 29th of March 2020. The weekend is organised by NELFA’s full member Fundacja Tęczowe Rodziny (FTR). Most recently, the preliminary programme is out. Read more. (graphic: NELFA)

ZAGREB, 28 January 2020: Bad news from Croatia! The Social Welfare Center in Zagreb again rejected the foster care application submitted by Ivo Šegota and Mladen Kožić, who are life partners. By doing so, they have completely disregarded the Croatian Administrative Court’s December 2019 binding judgment, which allowed the couple to become foster parents after a long two-year court battle. Read more. (photo: Ivo Šegota)

BRUSSELS, 28 January 2020: NELFA just started a new and broad rainbow families campaign with the ALL OUT platform. It’s about the freedom of movement in the European Union. Seven LGBTIQ* couples (with children) share their private cases and call on the EU institutions to take legislative measures for a better cross-border recognition. NELFA also provides a background presentation. Read and sign the petition here. (collage: NELFA)

STOCKHOLM, 27 January 2020: The Swedish newspaper “Aftonbladet” (Angelica Öhagen) just published an interesting article about lesbian parents in cross-border struggles. Their children’s birth certificates are not recognised in Sweden. Therefore, the non-biological mothers have to undergo an adoption procedure. On of the couples concerned had already started a petition campaign. (photo: Aftonbladet)

PRAGUE, 23 January 2020: In the Czech Republic, marriage equality remains a controversial topic. But public support is steadily increasing (now 67 percent in favour), the same applies to LGBTIQ* adoption rights (77 percent for stepchild adoption, respectively 62 percent in general). That’s great news for NELFA’s youngest supporting member Prague Pride. See here a current press release. (graphic: jsme fér)

MARBURG, 22 January 2020: Lesbian mothers in Germany still need to undergo a stepchild adoption procedure to become jointly legal parents. New rules could make it even more difficult. Read a statement of NELFA’s member LSVD. Now, the first lesbian couple sues the German state to stop this discrimination. Read more. (photo: Ilkay Karakurt)

PARIS, 22 January 2020: The French Senate voted in favor of a bill that would allow single women and lesbian couples access to in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). It’s part of a broader bioethics law, which in October cleared its first reading in the National Assembly. The senators, however, voted down an article approved by the lower house, that would have allowed IVF to be reimbursed by French social security. Read more. (photo:, Getty Images)

HILLEROD, 20 January 2020: NELFA and our Bulgarian member Deystvie are partner of a new individual campaign via All Out. It’s about Janet from Denmark who can’t see her son anymore, just because Bulgaria doesn’t recognise same-sex parenthood and ignores the fact that the Danish woman is legal mother. We call on the EU to change the situation as soon as possible. Read and sign the full petition here (photo: Janet Lund Larsen)

STRASBOURG, 14 January 2020: The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in a case of online hate speech against a gay couple from Lithuania. It found the country’s failure to investigate those comments to violate their rights to private and family life as well as being discriminatory on the ground of sexual orientation. Our friends from ILGA-Europe welcome the landmark judgment as we do. (photo: ILGA-Europe)

BRUSSELS, 14 January 2020: NELFA took part at an input session for a new study of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). The meeting was entitled “Demographic challenges in the EU in light of economic and development inequalities”. NELFA Vice President Björn Sieverding (LSVD) was invited to talk about the recognition of rainbow families. Read the full intervention here. (photo: Adam Rogalewski)

BELFAST, 13 January 2020: From today, same-sex couples in Northern Ireland will be able to register to marry, meaning the first ceremonies will take place in February. For couples who are already married, their marriage will now be legally recognised in Northern Ireland. However, those who are already in a civil partnership will not be able to convert it to a marriage at this stage. Heterosexual couples will now be able to enter into civil unions. Read more. (photo: Getty Images/Lisafx)

LISBON, 08 January 2020: One of NELFA’s founding members, ILGA Portugal, celebrates 10 years of marriage equality! The decision in the “Assembleia da República” (the Portuguese Parliament) in January 2010 was a milestone in the LGBTIQ* history of the country. In the meantime, rainbow families have achieved nearly full recognition – after long, exhausting battles. Read more. (graphic: ILGA Portugal)

BRUSSELS, 08 January 2020: This year, the European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA) will support especially Polish Pride organisers. The Annual General Meeting decided on this strategic priority, given the serious threats and violence the organisers have faced in recent months. Read the full news story. NELFA is also worried about the situation in Poland. Read our open letter from August 2019. (graphic: EPOA)

SHROPSHIRE, 08 January 2020: The UK online magazine “pinknews” just reported on a worrying story about a surrogate who didn’t want to hand over parental possibility to the intended parents, a gay couple in England. She and her boyfriend tried to get more money. Finally, all went fine for the gay couple – but financial problems remain. Read more. (photo: GoFundMe)

SOLOTHURN, 08 January 2020: The Adminsitrative Court in the Swiss canton just decided to register twins born through surrogacy in the USA without a “mother”. The judges weakened the principle “mater semper certa est” (the mother is always certain). They compared the fact that the surrogate had renounced her parental rights with an adoption process. This wouldn’t be against the public order, even surrogacy is prohibited. Read more (in German). (photo: AP/San Francisco Chronicle)

DUBLIN, 07 January 2020: The Irish government has tasked its special rapporteur on child protection to examine calls for improved parental rights for LGBTIQ* families using surrogacy and other forms of assisted human reproduction. Conor O’Mahony has been asked to review issues relating to the parentage of children nd the legal position of their parents. The forthcoming legislation could be amended afterwards. Read more. (photo:

BRUSSELS, 24 December 2019NELFA says THANK YOU for your interest in our website, newsletter, social media likes, comments and shares in 2019 (Facebook and Twitter)! We will continue our work for the well-being of rainbow families, their full legal recognition and protection. We wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR! (collage: NELFA)

BRUSSELS, 20 December 2019: NELFA says officially Good-Bye to the wonderful Secretary of the EP’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, Juliette Sanchez-Lambert! She just left the Intergroup for new challenges. It was a fantastic cooperation, i.e. to highlight rainbow family issues in the European Parliament! Thank you and see you soon! (photo: Björn Sieverding)

ZAGREB, 19 December 2019: From now on, same-sex partners in Croatia can become foster parents! The Administrative Court in Zagreb decided (in the first instance) in favour of Ivo Segota and Mladen Kozic whose application was at first rejected. Activists term the decision as “historic”. The next step will be the recognition of joint adoption rights for same-sex partners! Read more in English and Croatian. (photo: Zeljko Puhovski)

PARIS, 18 December 2019: The Court of Cassation just decided on the full transcription of birth certificates issued abroad. Means: non-biological parents in rainbow families should be recognised! In October, the Court already decided on the recognition of intended parents in different-sex families after a surrogacy arrangement (Mennesson case). Read more (in French) and read the reaction of NELFA’s French member apgl here. (photo: Thomas Samson, AFP)

STRASBOURG, 18 December 2019: The European Parliament adopted its first resolution on LGBTIQ* rights in the new legislature! The document strongly condemns LGBTI-free zones in Poland and targeting LGBTI people across the EU – including hate speech against rainbow families. Read the press release of the EP’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, another press release of ILGA-Europe and a report of the German public radio. (photo: screenshot of the Atlas of Hate)

BRUSSELS, 13 December 2019: NELFA and LGBT Ireland support a new individual campaign of an Irish-Polish lesbian couple whose daughter remains stateless. The All Out petition should help to convince (at least) the Irish authorities to give baby girl Sofia citizenship, even the country doesn’t recognise two lesbian mums. The campaign is starting point of a broader NELFA campaign to raise awareness of cross-border struggles for rainbow families in the EU. (photo: Kashka Sankowska)

SOFIA, 12 December 2019: NELFA is very worried about the recent judgment in Bulgaria. The Supreme Administrative Court refused to recognise the marriage of Lilly Babulkova and Darina Koilova concluded in the UK. The couple has been together for 10 years and has been trying to register their marriage in Bulgaria as well, which is the obligation of every Bulgarian citizen who has married their partner abroad, but they were denied that. This is violation of fundamental rights! Read the press release of NELFA’s Bulgarian member Deystvie. (photo: Deystvie).

HELSINKI, 09 December 2019: Finland’s Sanna Marin just became the world’s youngest Prime Minister at the age of 34. She was picked by her Social Democratic party after its leader quit as PM. Marin will lead a centre-left coalition with four other parties, all headed by women, three of whom are under 35. And what’s also important: She was raised in a rainbow family (her mother and her mother’s female partner). Read more here. (photo: SDP).

VADUZ, 07 December 2019: The Constitutional Court in Liechtenstein doesn’t see the need to implement marriage equality in the Principality. The judgement was about a gay couple, currently in a registered partnership. However, the Court sees a need to allow stepchild adoption procedures for LGBTIQ* couples. Unfortunately, the government won’t react quickly, only after a “broad discussion”. Read more (in German). (photo:

VIENNA, 06 December 2019: NELFA member FAmOS Regenbogenfamilien in Austria just celebrated Saint Nicholas Day in the Rainbow Family Centre. It was obviously a successful, cosy meeting! (photo: FAmOS voa Facebook)

GENEVA, 06 December 2019: The IFED Network just published the current Annual Report 2019 with facts fugures, stories and more. The International Family Equality Day was celebrated last May in 117 cities in 50 countries around the globe. More than 650 volunteers made the full rainbow of families shine brightly. NELFA was i.e. involved with its rainbow families meeting in Zagreb. More info about the IFED Annual Report in French, German and Italian. (photo: IFED Network)

MONTE CARLO, 04 December 2019: The National Assembly of Monaco adopted a new law, similar to PACS in France. Means: different-sex and same-sex couples as well as other family members who live together can enter a civil union. The new legislation provides better conditions for the people concerned, i.e. in the event of illness (health insurance) or for tenancy agreements. Read more (in English or French). (photo: Reuters)

LONDON, 03 December 2019: A British lesbian couple have become the first parents to have a baby carried in both of their wombs in a landmark “shared motherhood” procedure. Jasmine Francis-Smith gave birth to Otis, their son, two months ago, using an egg that was implanted using IVF after it was first incubated by her wife, Donna. The treatment was offered by the London Women’s Clinic. Read more in English and in German. (photo: The Telegraph)

LONDON, 02 December 2019: The number of adoptions by LGBTIQ* families has reached a record high in England. 490 adoptions were to same-sex couples in 2018/19, which means that at least one in seven adoptions were to LGBTIQ* people this year. Read more. But those adoptions are not always easy: in one case, Polish officials want to achieve that a child will live with different-sex parents. Read a corresponding article and an analysis by researcher Rémy Bonny. (photo: Envato)

WARSAW, 02 December 2019: The Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) puts rainbow families in legal limbo. It decided that it isn’t possible to register birth certificates where the child has two same-sex parents – due to Polish public order provisions. On the other hand, the Court ruled that children of Polish citizens should receive a passport and PESEL (social security number i.e. for public health care and education). In practice, legal experts expect problems – because the transcription of the foreign birth certificate is mandatory… Read more here. (photo: Shutterstock)

EDINBURGH, 02 December 2019: Two gay men from Scotland have been offered IVF treatment by the NHS in what is believed to be the first case of its kind in Britain. The married couple hope to conceive their own baby using sperm from one of them and a surrogate mother who will bear the child. The NHS will fund the process of a donor egg being fertilised and the resultant embryo implanted into the surrogate mother. Read more in this article. (photo: Shutterstock, wavebreakmedia)

GERMANY, 29 November 2019: Lesbian couples (married) with children still need to get through a stepchild adoption procedure to be both legal parents. Different-sex couples (married) are automatically recognised as legal parents. A new petition campaign of Melanie Wolff would like to convince politicians to finally change the laws and to achieve more equality. After one week, the found already nearly 700 supporters! (photo:

DUBLIN, 28 November 2019: The Irish government has launched its National LGBT+ Inclusion Strategy 2019-2021. There are over 100 actions prepared to promote inclusion, ensure the protection of rights, and provide for the wellbeing of the community. Unfortunately, the Strategy won’t resolve the current obstacles for rainbow families and the recognition of their familial ties. LGBT Ireland still tries to address the remaining legal gaps with some government departments. Possibly, an independent legal expert will be appointed to find solutions. (photo:

BRUSSELS, 28 November 2019: The Netherlands, Germany and Spain (respectively the Permanent Represetations) organised a meeting to discuss LGBTIQ* strategies for the next EU legislature. Representatives of 20 Member States took part in the Dutch “PermRep”… and NELFA was invited to talk about rainbow families in cross-border struggles! Vice President Björn Sieverding used the possibility to share current obstacles and to ask how the Member States tackle them. Read the full fact sheet. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

BRUSSELS, 28 November 2019: Today, NELFA took part at a meeting of the European Platform for Investing and Children (EPIC). We were able to bring in the perspective of rainbow families and will cooperate for comprehensive policy memos! See here a recent, very interesting document on leave policies and practice for non-traditional families. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

BRUSSELS, 20 November 2019: NELFA celebrated the Universal Children’s Day and the 30th anniversary on the UN Children’s Rights Convention. On this occasion, we reminded the fact that children in rainbow families still face a lot of discrimination. Via Facebook, we published again our recent research findings. Read also a current manuscript of the Fundamental Rights Agency. (graphic: NELFA)

POZNAN, 14 November 2019: During a week for more tolerance in the city, Fundacja Tęczowe Rodziny (FTR) organised a training session for people who work with rainbow families. The event in Poznań was organised by NELFA Board Member Joanna Śmiecińska and active volunteer Jowita Wycisk. FTR will invite to a conference on rainbow families (27-29 March 2020). It will be part of NELFA’s next Annual General Meeting. More soon! (photo: FTR)

BRUSSELS, 14 November 2019: NELFA is very pleased with a recent resolution by the European Parliament. MEPs express their deep concern over a Polish draft law that could put teachers who provide sex education in prison (three to five years…). The resolution encourages all EU countries to provide comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education in schools. Read more here. (photo: NL times)

BRUSSELS, 12 November 2019: NELFA’s Board member Björn Sieverding (LSVD, Germany) gave some insights into the current legal status of rainbow families in Europe at a colloquium about surrogacy at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). The event “Les nouvelles familles nées par la GPA” was organised by Professor Salvatore d’Amore. The findings will be put together (perhaps in form of a scientific book). NELFA’s presentation is available here. (photo: Said Daneshmand)

BRUSSELS, 12 November 2019: NELFA’s Board member Dominique Boren (apgl, France) took part in an extraordinary meeting of the Diversity Europe Group. The event was entitled “New Role Models for Societies in Europe“. NELFA was invited to speak up at a panel discussion under the motto “Have societal attitudes to parenting and family life kept up with reality?” – together with representatives of COFACE Families Europe and Eurochild. (photo: EESC Diversity Europe Group)

BARCELONA, 09-10 November 2019: NELFA’s full member FLG had a great Halloween meeting 2019 (Castanyada). LGBTIQ* parents and their children played, ate and laughed together. You can find a range of wonderful pictures of the event in this gallery. (photo: FLG)

VALENCIA, 08 November 2019: NELFA supports a press release of several Spanish LGBTIQ* organisations (i.e. our members Galesh, Galehi, Fundación Triángulo and FLG) who condemn the wording used in a debate on surrogacy in the main legislative body of the region (Les Corts) in September. Politicians (i.e. Cristina Cabedo, UP) spoke generally about “exploitation” and “instrumentalisation” of women’s bodies. Read a corresponding article (in Spanish). (photo:

BRUSSELS, 07 November 2019: NELFA has trained nearly 70 rainbow family activists in Erasmus+ projects since 2016. Board member Björn Sieverding (LSVD, Germany) was the main coordinator and acts now on behalf of the Erasmus+ agency aef in Brussels as “ambassador”. At a meeting for new applicants he presented the recent NELFA project “Joining forces for the well-being of rainbow families” in French. Here is the link. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

LONDON, 07 November 2019: The European Network of Statelessness just published a new blog, in cooperation with NELFA. Rainbow families in cross-border situations are very vulnerable because of the legal patchwork. Children sometimes even remain stateless – like Sofia. Meanwhile, her parents inform about the case also via Twitter. (photo: Kashka Sankowska)

TIRANA, 06-09 November 2019: The capital city of Albania hosts this year’s ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association conference #ERAcon2019, the biggest LGBTIQ* event in the whole region. NELFA is represented by Board member Daniel Martinovic from Croatia (Dugine obitelji). He will talk about rainbow families (especially in the Balkans region) on Saturday. Croatia had organised NELFA’s rainbow families conference in May 2019 and will invite again to a similar event in 2020. The next ERA conference will be in Novi Sad, Serbia. (photo: European House / Daniel Martinovic)

BERLIN, 06 November 2019: The Federal Cabinet just approved a bill that will allow step-child adoption procedures also for non-married couples. One condition is, that these couples must have lived together for four years in a common household. The legislative package contains also more support for adoptive families. Read more in this article. (photo: miapowterr/pixabay)

LENZBURG, 05 November 2019: The story of Rafael and Rahul goes viral. The two twins, sons of a gay couple, were rejected by a daycare centre in Switzerland. In the meantime, the responsible person speaks of a misunderstanding. NELFA’s member Dachverband Regenbogenfamilien hopes that those stories will disappear in the future. A lot of daycare centres already ask for material about rainbow families. Perhaps, the efforts for marriage equality in Switzerland will give some extra support. Most recently, the Reformed Church decided to endorse the upcoming law. Read more here. (photo: 20 minutes)

DUBLIN, 04 November 2019: The Children and Family Act is set to commence on 5th of May 2020. The corresponding order has been signed by Minister for Health, Simon Harris. It will allow female same-sex couples that used an Irish clinic and non-anonymous donor to both be named on the birth certificate. Unfortunately, many LGBTIQ* families will be left behind. The new and very interesting Irish campaign “Equality For Children” protests against this exclusion. (photo: LGBT Ireland)

BRUSSELS, 30 October 2019: NELFA welcomes the official reply of the EU Commission concerning an open letter from 2nd August. Together with two other networks, we had called on a clear stance of the EU with regard to the recent anti-LGBTIQ* polemical propaganda in Poland. EU Commissioner Věra Jourová says, “I wish to underline that the EU Commission strongly condemns any form of discrimination, intolerance or violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics, which goes against the fundamental values of the EU.” Read the full reply here. (graphic: NELFA)

PRAGUE, 23-27 October 2019: NELFA took part at the Annual Conference of ILGA-Europe in Prague. We presented our recent research findings concerning the rights of children in rainbow families (project: “Rainbow Family Mobility Map”), held our own workshop (“Advancing the rights of rainbow families”) with a general overview of the current legal status in Europe and offered a consultation space. There were a lot of additional networking possibilities and one result of the conference is: NELFA is still growing and our work is needed. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

BELFAST, 21 October 2019: NELFA is delighted by the recent legal development in Northern Ireland. In a landmark shift the province liberalised same-sex marriage and abortion – aimed at bringing it into line with mainland Britain but which has stoked resentment. The relaxation of the U.K.-ruled territory’s restrictive laws on the issues occurred at midnight, after a deadline elapsed for local lawmakers to stop the changes imposed by MPs in Westminster. Read more here. (photo: AFP)

DUBLIN, 21 October 2019: The new campaign “Equality For Children” just started in Ireland. The aim is to guarantee a stable legal relationship between children and their LGBTIQ* parents. By now – almost five years after the marriage equality referendum – the discrimination against rainbow families is ongoing. A new law is to be expected in May 2020, but it will only recognise joint parenthood rights for lesbian couples who undergo IVF treatment in an Irish clinic with an Irish donor. Read more here. (photo: Equality for Children)

BRUSSELS, 15 October 2019: NELFA Vice President Björn Sieverding (LSVD) took part in a panel discussion about parental leave for LGBTIQ* families and the experiences of (gay) fathers in child care arrangements at the EIGE Gender Equality Index 2019 conference. The new Index reveals that rainbow families still don’t have access to parental leave in eleven countries within the European Union. (photo: COFACE Families Europe via Twitter)

PARIS, 15 October 2019: The National Assembly in France voted with a vast majority for the whole legislative package on “bioethics” – means: to open medically assisted procreation (French: PMA) for single women and lesbian couples (including a co-parent recognition by declaration of consent). Next step: The discussion in the Senate from January 2020… A final vote of the Parliament is to be expected in May 2020. Read more (in French). (photo: Julien Muguet pour “Le Monde”)

DUBLIN, 14 October 2019: The non-recognition of familial ties in cross-border situations leads into legal limbo situations for rainbow families. Sometimes, children even remain stateless. Currently, NELFA supports and accompanies an Irish-Polish lesbian couple with their 15-months-old baby Sofia. The Irish Times just reported on the case (see here the article), NELFA prepares material for a further media campaigns and the family concerned just started a comprehensive “baby sofia blog” of their legal fight. (photo: Kashka Sankowska)

AVELLINO, 11 October 2019: NELFA Board member Giuseppina La Delfa (Famiglie Arcobaleno) presented her rainbow family story and (long-term) struggles to be finally recognised at an event with the title “La famiglia reinventata. Nuove sfide, nouvi nuclei”. Read here an article. (photo: Giuseppina La Delfa)

BRUSSELS, 11 October 2019: NELFA just launched its pilot project RAF.TEENS (acronym for “Rainbow Families for Teens”). The aim is to create a forum for LGBTIQ* parents and their adolescent children in order to organise cross-border exchanges. Board member Giuseppina La Delfa shares her own experiences: In summer 2019, her daugther (16) spent two weeks with Gabriel (17) – the son of NELFA Board member Jesús Santos Homobono) in Italy and Spain. Read more. (graphic: NELFA)

PARIS, 4 October 2019: The Court of Cassation finally decided that the filiation between intended parents and their children born through surrogacy (in the case concerned: California) has to be recognised. The French Mennesson family (see picture) fought 19 years for this judgment. Read more (in French). Another article discusses further consequences. (photo: Christoph Archambault/AFP)

HELSINKI, 3-4 October 2019: NELFA took part in the conference “Shaping a healthy environment fit for children“, organised by COFACE Families Europe. NELFA was present with a networking hot-spot (and new leaflets), grateful for inspiring discussions. Former Board member Juha Jämsä (Sateenkaariperheet ry, Finland) issued NELFA leaflets, an updated presentation and some national findings about rainbow families. (photo: Juha Jämsä)

COPENHAGEN, 1 October 2019: History was made 30 years ago, when Denmark became the first country in the world to allow same-sex couples to tie the knot. It was a Sunday and Copenhagen’s deputy mayor Tom Ahlberg opened the gates of the city hall to officiate the “partnerships” of 11 same-sex couples. Read an article here and another story here. (in the picture: Axel Axgil (right) and Eigil Axgil (left) were the first couple; photo taken by Keld Navntoft/AFP/Getty)

BERLIN, 29 September 2019: The Federal Ministry for Justice in Germany just started a new campaign to promote the rule of law – i.e. with a gay married couple: “We are love that remains. And a State that still learns.” On 1st October 2019, Germany celebrated the 2nd anniversary of marriage equality. But, there is still something to do: i.e. the co-parent recognition of LGBTIQ* parents from birth (to avoid stepchild adoption procedures). Read more here. (photo: Ministry of Justice)

PARIS, 27 September 2019: Applause in France! The National Assembly voted (with a vast majority) in favour of a law that will open medically assisted insemination for single women and lesbian couples. Unfortunately, the ratification process will take some time. The final vote for the whole bioethic package is to be expected in May 2020. Read more here and another article with input of NELFA’s Board member Dominique Boren (apgl, France). (photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP)

ST. PETERSBURG, 26 September 2019: NELFA’s member organisation Coming Out Russia confirmed that a persecuted rainbow family from Moscow succeeded to move to the United States. The gay couple was officially accused of murder. In reality, they just raise two boys who were adopted eight, nine years ago by one of the partners. In summer, a doctor of a clinic informed the authorities about the family. Read more (in Russian). (photo: Andrei Waganowa and Evgeny Erofeeva)

BRUSSELS, 23-24 September 2019: A range of NELFA (Board) members took part in the LGBTI Equality Conference in Brussels, organised by the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU and the Commission. Vice President Björn Sieverding was invited to hold a keynote speech at a workshop concerning LGBTIQ* people and their families in cross-boarder situations. The main aim was to feed the Commission with suggestions for the upcoming legislature. Read our press release – including the speech, a “wishlist” for the EU institutions and a new cross-border presentation. (photo: Denitza Ljubenova)

BRUSSELS, 22 September 2019: NELFA Board members from France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Croatia, Spain and Bulgaria came together to discuss several upcoming tasks. The meeting in the Rainbow House (Salle Lollepot) had begun with a cosy exchange. Guests were Paula Fagan, CEO at LGBT Ireland (NELFA’s new member organisation) and Rémy Bonny, researcher and expert of LGBT+ Politics in Post-Soviet Republics & Central Eastern Europe. (photo: Giovanni Fantoni)

SALAMANCA, 20-22 September 2019: The Spanish LGBTIQ* umbrella organisation FELGTB celebrated the 9th edition of “Jornadas de Familias LGBTI“. The motto was: “Ni un paso atrás diversidad” (No regression in diversity). The days in the northwest of the country were i.e. accompagnied by NELFA Board members Jesús Santos Homobono (Galehi) and Marcos Jornet (Son Nuestros Hijos). (photo: Área de las familias Felgtb)

BRUSSELS, 20-22 September 2019: Several national rainbow families organisations like apgl (France), Homoparentalités (Belgium), Meer Dan Gewenst (The Netherlands) and also NELFA took part in the Men Having Babies (MHB) Conference 2019. The event informed more than 320 prospective gay fathers from 20 European countries about parenting options through surrogacy. MHB marked the launch of an “Advocacy & Research Forum”, i.e. with expertise of LGBTIQ* Family lawyers and other legal experts. Find here a nice video of the Conference. (photo: Catherine Clavin)

TALLINN, 17 September 2019: In Estonia, the married person who is a stay-home parent and raising a child generally has the health insurance covered by state but the state refused to give the health insurance to Jelena, a member of a family of same-sex partners and their son in June. The couple turned to court and won: Tallinn’s Administrative Court found that the registered same-sex partners and parents should be treated equally. Read more. (photo: Estonian Human Rights Centre)

DUBLIN, 17 September 2019: The rainbow family community in Europe is growing: LGBT Ireland just became full member of NELFA. It is a national charitable organisation providing support, training and advocacy services, to enhance the visibility, rights and inclusion of LGBT+ people and their families living in Ireland. The frontline services include the National LGBT Helpline & Online Chat Support service, the Gender Identity Family Support Line, a dedicated website and a number of specialist peer support groups. LGBT Ireland and NELFA already worked together to raise cross-border issues for LGBTIQ* familie with Irish legal and policy representatives. Read more here. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

BRUSSELS, 10 September 2019: NELFA is very pleased with the decision to nominate Helena Dalli as new EU Commissioner for the equality portfolio. The politician from Malta was an important supporter for the recognition of rainbow family rights in her country – from civil unions to marriage equality. Since years, Malta ranks at the top position in ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Map. Read an article and a recent interview with a Lithuanian LGBTIQ* organisation. Concerning the nomination, COFACE Families Europe issued a press release. (photo: Malta Independent)

SOFIA, 10 September 2019: NELFA takes part in a new REC project, funded by the EU Commission, entitled “Rainbow Shield”. The aim is to support LGBTIQ* people and their families in Bulgaria with a legal toolkit. Today, there was a kick-off meeting with participants from all organisations involved: The leading group is Deystvie, partners are Bilitis (Rainbow Hub), Foundation GLAS, Asociatia Accept in Romania and NELFA. More information here (photo: Daniel Martinovic)

SARAJEVO, 8 September 2019: NELFA Board member Daniel Martinovic took part in the very first Pride Parade in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Together with several members of the Croatian rainbow families organisation Dugine obitelji, he experienced a peaceful event without violent attacks of counter-demonstrators. See some pictures of the Pride with thousands of participants. (photo: Daniel Martinovic)

BERN, 8 September 2019: A regional court in Switzerland has backed the rights of rainbow families. For the first time there is a ruling that states: Legally not recognised co-mothers have parental obligations – even after a separation. Read a corresponding article here (in German). The decision is a positive sign in a complicated debate. Recently, the legal committee of the Swiss National Council voted in favour of marriage equality, but without an access for lesbian couples to sperm donation and the possibility of an automatic co-parent recognition. Read more. (photo:

TOULOUSE, 6 September 2019: NELFA and its French member apgl took part in a conference on assisted reproductive techniques (ART) for single women and same-sex couples. Vice President Björn Sieverding contributed with a new general overview about the rights of rainbow families in Europe. Currently, there is a strong debate in France about an upcoming law that will open ART under certain conditions and probably also includes the recognition of families ties that were already established abroad. Read a recent article here. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

BRUSSELS, 28 August 2019: NELFA is official partner of the first YouthMundus Festival in Rome (14th to 17th of November 2019). It’s a global short content and music festival platform, with an emphasis on raising awareness about culturally relevant and pressing social courses to combat social injustice. NELFA will be represented (at least) by an Italian teenager with two lesbian moms who will talk about her experiences as part of a rainbow family. (graphic: NELFA, logo: YouthMundus)

POTSDAM, 21 August 2019: A regional court near Berlin (Potsdam-Rehbrücke) decided to put two gay men on a common birth certificate – still a rare case in Germany. The two children of the couple were born through surrogacy in the United States, and only the biological father was recognised. But the judge decided on the co-parent recognition to protect the existing family and to establish the necessary filiation between the children and both of their parents. Read more (in German). (photo: Guido Mewis)

VIENNA, 15 August 2019: Since January 2019, marriage equality is reality in Austria, but at the same time, civil partnerships are now open for heterosexual couples as well. And they use this option more often than expected: 560 of 638 registrations are “straight”. Read more in a newspaper article. (photo:

BRUSSELS, 9 August 2019: ILGA-Europe just submitted a third party intervention to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, supported by NELFA. The comments for the case A.S. v. Poland are the same as for the similar case X. v. Poland. In both cases, mothers lost their custody rights because of their lesbian relationships. Read the comments here. (photo: Shutterstock)

WARSAW, 6 August 2019: NELFA currently contributes to several cases at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Together with other organisations (led by the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights) we intervene i.e. in a case concerning the confirmation of Polish citizenship for the children of a same-sex couple (born through surrogacy in the United States). Read the full press release. (photo:

BRUSSELS, 2 August 2019: NELFA just sent a letter to the European Commission concerning the situation of LGBTIQ* people in Poland. Together with ENP (European Network of Parents of LGBTI+ Persons) and the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups, we demand a clear reaction concerning the recent developments in the country (anti-LGBTIQ*-resolutions, free-zone stickers, attacks at Pride in Białystok). Read the full letter and our press release (graphic: NELFA)

MOSCOW, 29 July 2019: For the first time, the “gay propaganda” law is used to justify the removal of adopted children from a rainbow family home. NELFA already reported on this case, but unfortunately its getting worse. We are in contact with our full member organisation Coming Out Russia in Saint Petersburg and will try to help. Read more. (photo: Coming Out Russia)

London, 25 July 2019: Professor Robert Wintemute (King’s College, London) has sent written comments to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, also on behalf of NELFA. The case A.D.-K. and Others v. Poland is about the recognition of a British birth certificate (stating two mothers) in Poland. Read the written comments here. (photo: Poohz/Getty/iStockphoto)

PARIS, 25 July 2019: Finally, the French government has sent to Parliament its draft legislation concerning the access to medically assisted reproduction for single women and lesbian couples (including funding). It’s a very important step forward, but there are still major concerns. Read an article and a current statement of NELFA’s member apgl. On 30th of July, the organisation issued also a video. (photo: Reuters, Charles Platiau)

SOFIA, 24 July 2019: Great news from Bulgaria! A married French-Australian lesbian couple will be recognised in the country. Bulgaria must accept same-sex marriages that were contracted abroad (see the Coman case in Romania). The Migration Department had blocked the decision, but EU law is stronger (see our legal service page)! NELFA congratulates wholeheartedly! Read the press release of our Bulgarian member organisation Deystvie (in English). (photo: Deystvie)

BELGRADE, 19 July 2019: NELFA is very pleased with the courageous decision of a lesbian couple from Serbia. Jelena Dubovi and Suncica Kopunovic tried to register a civil partnership in Novi Sad, but authorities turned them away. So the couple launched a legal challenge to try to overturn the current law. Read more here. (photo: Mickey Mystique, Wikimedia Commons)

PARIS, 19 July 2019: The online platform “Konbini” just reported on a scary battle between a gay photographer and a homophobe politician. Agnès Cerighelli from Saint-Germain-en-Laye used stolen private pictures from Olivier Ciappa and rushed against him and his rainbow family via Twitter, i.e. with collages of sex- and family photos. Read more here. (photo: Olivier Ciappa)

MOSCOW, 18 July 2019: There are disturbing news from Russia. Obviously, a rainbow family (two dads with two children) had to flee because of threats and investigations. The authorities became aware that the couple had adopted their children in 2010. The responsible civil servants are now accused because of disregarding the homo-propaganda law. Read more (in English and German). (photo:, nb)

BELFAST, 09 July 2019: LGBTIQ* activits celebrate the recent decision of UK’s Westminister Parliament in London as “historic day”. MPs voted in favour of marriage equality in Northern Ireland (383 to 73) if the Stormont Assembly isn’t restored until October 2019. Read more here and an updated article here (22 July). (photo: Peter Morrisson, PA Wire)

BRUSSELS, 09 July 2019: NELFA just created a new legal support mailing list for rainbow families in Europe. Legal experts, activists and LGBTIQ* (family) lawyers are invited to join the group (via mail to: The aim is to have a certain task-force whenever rainbow families need legal advice, but we want also establish a platform to discuss court cases, possible interventions and strategic litigation. You find more information about NELFA’s legal service here. (graphic: NELFA)

BRUSSELS, 04-05 July 2019: NELFA took part at a very inspiring meeting of LGBTIQ* networks in Brussels – organised by ILGA-Europe. Major aim was to discuss the status quo and the development of these umbrella organisations. In the future, they want to strengthen their ties and – occasionally – take action together. These networks were also present: IGLYO, EL*C, ENP, OII, ICRSE, Europride and the European Forum of LGBT Christian groups. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

MADRID, 03 July 2019: Our member organisation Galehi took part in the Orgullo (Pride) event at Moncloa Palace. NELFA Board member Jesús Santos Homobono and Galehi-chair Marta Márquez had the possibility to talk with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez about rainbow families! Some days later, on 6th of July, members of Galehi and Son Nuestros Hijos waved their flags at Madrid’s Pride Parade – NELFA logos were also visible. (photo: Jesús Santos Homobono)

BRUSSELS, 30 June 2019: NELFA just finalised its third Erasmus+ project in a row (time frame: 1st June 2018 – 30 June 2019). It was entitled “Joining forces for the well-being of rainbow families” and empowered NELFA’s educational activities (with 20 participants from all over Europe). You find a summary of the project here. Visit also our recently updated project webpage. (graphic: NELFA)

BARCELONA, 28-29 June 2019: “We are families everywhere” – this was the motto of Barcelona’s Pride for 2019 and NELFA’s member FLG organised a lot of events during the whole week – including a presentation of NELFA President Eleni Maravelia; a kid’s corner with music, games and story-telling; and the parade with many rainbow families (including NELFA Board members from Spain [Galehi and Son Nuestros Hijos] and Italy [Famiglie Arcobaleno]). (photo: Marcos Jornet)

VIENNA, 26 June 2019: Marriage equality is now really equal in Austria. The judiciary committee of the National Council decided to close the last gaps. Now, same-sex partners can get married, even one of the partners comes from a country without marriage equality. Read more here and another commentary here (both in German). (photo: Johannes Zinner)

TALLINN, 21 June 2019: The Supreme Court has strengthened the rights of same-sex couples to live as family in Estonia. Registered partners from abroad are entitled to get a residence permit. The Aliens Act is unconstitutional and must now be reviewed. In the case concerned, two foreign same-sex partners (from Sri Lanka and Ukraine) had ask for a permission to reside in Estonia, but their requests were initially rejected. Read more (in Estonian). (photo: Andriy Popov)

BRUSSELS, 20 June 2019: NELFA co-organised a research presentation with high-level stakeholders from the EU institutions and other (LGBTIQ*) families organisations. Tanja Vuckovic Juros (Université Catholique de Louvain, TransNorm project) and Salvatore d’Amore (Université Libre de Bruxelles) shared their new findings, in both cases the data were collected in different EU Member States. In a panel debate, the participants talked about best practices to increase the well-being of rainbow families besides the advancement of equal rights. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

RIGA, 20 June 2019: The Parliament failed to introduce a civil partnership law for same-sex couples. Only 23 delegates out of 101 voted YES, 60 voted NO and there was one abstention. The draft bill was introduced by liberal and liberal-concervative politicians in the government. In the debate, national-conversative delegates were vehemently against the new legislation and referred to the Latvian constitution. Read more (in German):

DUBLIN, 18 June 2019: NELFA and LGBT Ireland agreed on a close relationship to advance the rights of rainbow families! At a meeting, Paula Fagan (Chief Executive Officer, LGBT Ireland) and Björn Sieverding (NELFA Vice President) talked about upcoming common projects. In the evening, there was a panel discussion about co-parent regulations in Ireland. NELFA presented an actual overview about the current situation of rainbow families in Europe. Read a summary report of the event here. (photo: A&L Goodbody)

BUCHAREST, 18 June 2019: Rainbow families in Romania still face a lot of discriminiation, but seven same-sex couples now decided to file a suit against their home country before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Help comes from NELFA’s supporting member Asociatia Accept. Two of the claimants were participants of NELFA’s Erasmus+ project “Joining forces for the well-being of rainbow families“. Read more here and see a video here (in Romanian). (photo: Florinela Iosip)

GENOVA, 15 June 2019: NELFA Board member Giovanni Fantoni (Famiglie Arcobaleno) and his family took part in Liguria Pride 2019. This year’s edition was entitled “Genova better than this” and officially endorsed by NELFA. The Board decided to support as much Pride events as possible in the future, to make the European Network of rainbow families more visible to a public at large. (photo: Giovanni Fantoni)

MADRID, 10 June 2019: SPAIN: The organisation FELGTB just published the results of a nice competition, “Esta es mi familia“. 7-year-old Carles Pico won the drawing contest (category “rainbow family”). Some days ago, FELGTB also published a new brochure for school education concerning family diversity, entitled “Las Familias en las Aulas”. (picture: Carles Pico)

VATICAN, 10 June 2019: In a new document aimed at Catholic schools, the Church has rejected the idea that people should be free to choose their gender. It is entitled “Male and female he created them. For a path of dialogue on the issue of gender in education”. LGBTIQ* activits are very disappointed. They think that the document will encourage more hatred and bigotry. Read more here and see some reactions of people concerned. (photo: Vatican Media)

VIENNA, 06 June 2019: The Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) just published its new Annual Report 2019. It states that many people risk being left behind, as growing intolerance and attacks on people’s fundamental rights continue to erode the considerable progress achieved to date. The Report talks about LGBTIQ* (family) rights from page 67 onwards. FRA encourages EU Member States to follow the recommendations of the Commission’s actions list. (photo: FRA)

SANKT GALLEN, 05 June 2019: In Switzerland, the debate on marriage equality is ongoing. The regional government of the Saint Gall Canton is in favour of the new law, but unfortunately without the possibility for lesbian couples to get access to medically assisted insemination. Swiss activists are disappointed and hope that other cantons will be more progressive. Read more (in German). (photo: Keystone)

PARIS, 28 May 2019: For the first time, a French court (cour d’appel de Paris) accepted a foreign birth certificate (Ontario/Canada) stating two dads. Their twins, born through surrogacy in 2014, obtain French nationality automatically. Read more here (in French). The decision is an important step forward and in line with a recent EHCR opinion (European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg). (photo: Shutterstock)

BRUSSELS, 28 May 2019: The EU elections are over and the results may leave mixed feelings. But, nonetheless, NELFA will continue its efforts to improve the rights of rainbow families. And the new Members of the EU Parliament should be our partners. Read NELFA’s press release and have a look at our webpage about the EU elections. (graphic: NELFA).


DUBLIN, 23 May 2019: Ireland’s President has signed the Civil Registration Bill 2019 into law meaning some female same-sex couples can now have both parents named on their child’s birth certificate. Parents who had a child via an Irish donor were previously only able to have the mother’s name mentioned. Read more here. NELFA will present the current legal situation in Europe at an event in Dublin on 18th of June. (photo: Dara Mac Dónaill, 2015)

COPENHAGEN, 20-24 May 2019: “Consulting and development of teams and groups” in Copenhagen is NELFA’s last training in the current Erasmus+ project “Joining forces for the well-being of rainbow families” which will be finalised in June. Two NELFA participants from Bulgaria (i.e. Board member Veneta Limberova) are educated by the consultancy In Dialogue. Once again a great occasion to learn and to meet other European activists! (photo: Veneta Limberova)

BRUSSELS, 20 May 2019: The Committee of the Regions invited NELFA to present the current status of rainbow families in Europe. The #IDAHOBIT2019 event “Myths and truths about LGBTI parenting” was another good opportunity to share stories about LGBTIQ* parents and their kids. Find here the corresponding NELFA presentation. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

BERLIN, 17 May 2019: The 2019 Trans Rights Europe & Central Asia Map highlights the forced sterilisation of transgender persons (16 countries) and the requirement for a mental health diagnosis in gender recognition procedures (36 countries). Only four countries recognise the gender identity of a trans parent on their child’s birth certificate. (graphic: TGEU)

BRUSSELS, 17 May 2019: NELFA celebrates the International Day Against Homo-, Bi- and Transphobia (#IDAHOBIT2019). At a breakfast event at the European Commission (DG Justice), Vice President Björn Sieverding had the possibility to speak about rainbow families in Europe and their current legal problems. Then, Commission staff members and Director-General Tiina Astola just showed their support through a common picture. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

BRUSSELS, 15 May 2019: NELFA celebrates the International Day of Families (United Nations)! It provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families. NELFA tries to make clear on this occasion that the well-being of our children depends – to a high extend – on the equal treatment through adequate laws and regulations. Read the full press release here and find a nice video of Pride Barcelona organisers and rainbow families from FLG here. (graphic: NELFA)

OSLO, 13 May 2019: ILGA-Europe just unveiled its new Rainbow Europe 2019 survey. It is the most comprehensive overview concerning the situation of LGBTIQ* people in Europe. It reveals not only a standstill in a significant number of countries but a visible backslide on laws and policies safeguarding equality and human rights. Read ILGA’s press release. (graphic: ILGA)

BERLIN, 13-17 May 2019: The next Erasmus+ training takes place in Berlin – with active NELFA volunteers from Estonia and Serbia! The event of our partner organisation In Dialogue is entitled “Strength-based coaching and guidance”. The training is part of NELFA’s current project “Joining forces for the well-being of rainbow families“. (photo: Aili Kala)

ZAGREB, 10-12 May 2019: Dugine obitelji‘s Rainbow Families Conference Our kids are ok” was a full success! Three days of intensive discussions about the future in the Balkans for LGBTIQ* parents and their children, recent research findings and a cosy #IFED2019 afternoon withs adults and kids – just amazing and inspiring! A range of photos will appear soon on our website. And find here the current NELFA presentation (photo: Daniel Martinovic)

TRENTO, 09 May 2019: Couples who seek surrogacy abroad won’t be able to register themselves as co-parents to their children in Italy. This is the latest ruling of the country’s highest court. The partner of the biological father will have to apply for a stepchild adoption, particularly permitted. The case could now be taken to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Read more here. (photo: Tiziana Fab, AFP)

BARCELONA, 09 May 2019: NELFA President Eleni Maravelia took part in the conference “LGBTIQ Families. From legal recognition to actual rights”, organised by “Doing Rights”. It was another opportunity to raise awareness about the current situation of rainbow families accross Europe. NELFA contributed with a corresponding presentation. (photo: FLG)

BUDAPEST, 07 May 2019: Hungary is back! The former Foundation for Rainbow Families had ceased to function some years ago, but there are new activities in the country. Háttér Society offers now a legal advice service for rainbow families (to-be) and works on reasearch. Most recently, they issued a common report on LGBTIQ* parents and their children, together with ILGA-Europe. Hátter Society is from now new full member of NELFA! (photo: Háttér Society via Facebook)

VIENNA, 07 May 2019: The Administrative Court just strengthened the rights of rainbow families, in particular their familial ties. The case was about a married (mexican-austrian) lesbian couple and their twins who are living in Mexico. The authorities in Austria denied their right to get passports for the children. At the end, the Court decided in favour of the family. The common birth certificate must be transcribed in Austria. Read more here (photo: FAmOS)

BARCELONA, 07 May 2019: NELFA took part in the Annual General Meeting of COFACE Families Europe. One aim was to talk about future tasks and possible cooperations. NELFA President Eleni Maravelia met up i.e. with COFACE Director Liz Gosme who will participate in the upcoming research presentation in Brussels, co-organised by NELFA. Our network will also be present at a children’s rights conference of COFACE in Helsinki this year. (photo: Eleni Maravelia)

GENEVA, 05 May 2019: Rainbow Families and allies all over the world celebrated #IFED2019! This year’s motto of the International Family Equality Day was “Families: United we stand!”. For the IFED Network in Geneva, it was a source of strength and motivation. See the full press release here. NELFA will celebrate IFED during the Rainbow Families Conference in Zagreb next weekend from 10-12 May 2019. (collage: IFED Network)

BRUSSELS, 03 May 2019: NELFA, ILGA-Europe and COFACE Families Europe are celebrating #IFED2019! The International Family Equality Day will be held on Sunday all around the world. This year’s motto is “Families: United we stand!”. NELFA will celebrate IFED also during the Rainbow Families Conference in Zagreb next weekend from 10-12 May 2019. (collage: Björn Sieverding)

VALETTA, 03 May 2019: NELFA welcomes wholeheartedly its 36th member organisation! It is MGRM, the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement. Together with NELFA’s full member The Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society they launched in September 2018 a new Rainbow Families Network with more than 70 people connected. (photo: MGRM via Facebook)

KARLSRUHE, 24 April 2019: The Federal Court (Bundesgerichtshof) just decided that a surrogate is the legal mother – even if the intended mother gave her ovum and is therefore genetically linked to the child. In the corresponding case, a heterosexual couple had a surrogacy arrangement in Ukraine, the parent-child connection was not approved by a court before the birth. Read more about the ruling here (in German). (photo: Bundesgerichtshof)

VALETTA, 23 April 2019: NELFA welcomes a new full member organisation! The Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society [MFWS] (led by the former President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca) and the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement (MGRM) have launched a special Rainbow Families Network during Pride in September 2018. See the current Facebook page of the Rainbow Support Service. (graphic: MFWS)

BRUSSELS, 17 April 2019: NELFA will be able to take part in new project! It is entitled “Rainbow shield: Enhancing the legal protection of LGBTI people in Bulgaria”. The leading organisation is Deystvie, partners are Bilitis (Rainbow Hub), Foundation GLAS, Asociatia Accept in Romania and NELFA. The specific objectives of the two-year project are to expand the scope of legal practitioners prepared to deal with LGBTI cases and enhance their expertise in doing so, to raise awareness among the community about possibilities for legal protection and to disseminate best practices. (graphic: Björn Sieverding)

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, 13 April 2019: LGBTIQ* lawyers from all over Europe came together to discuss recent legal developments. The exchange was organised by the LGBT Family Law Institute FLI, in particular by Diana Adams and Bill Singer. NELFA Board members Veneta Limberova (Deystvie) and Björn Sieverding (LSVD) presented the network’s aim to build up a common legal support group. Find here NELFA’s current info slides and a press release. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

POZNAN, 12-13 April 2019: NELFA’s member organisation Fundacja Tęczowe Rodziny (with Board member Joanna Śmiecińska had a wonderful rainbow families weekend in Poznań, including a seminar and a meeting of LGBTIQ* parents with their children! Other Board members contributed with video messages about their own stories. (photo: FTR via Facebook)

MADRID, 12 April 2019: NELFA’s member organisation Galehi just started a campaign for the general elections in Spain. Main aim: to respect the full diversity of families! In the picture: NELFA’s Board member Jesús Santos Homobono and his wonderful family. You will find more information about the campaign here. (photo: Galehi)

MUNICH, 11 April 2019: The Rainbow Family Centre in Munich just published a new information brochure (64 pages) for rainbow families and day care personnel (in German). You can order them here: (photo: Marion Lüttig, Stephanie Gerlach,  Regenbogenfamilienzentrum München)

BRUSSELS, 08 April 2019: The EP’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights has started an intersting EU election campaign. It shows exactly how MEP voted during the last legislature for LGBTIQ* rights. Just follow the hashtag #lgbtivotes on Facebook to see the different topics. In the picture: The votes on freedom of movement for same-sex couples! (graphic: LGBTI Intergroup)

STRASBOURG, 10 April 2019: The EHCR (European Court of Human Rights) just issued an opinion that backs children born through surrogacy and their legal ties to the intended parents. LGBTIQ* activists hope that the statement will also help to justify an easier co-parent recognition for rainbow families. (photo: EHCR)

LINZ, 08-12 April 2019: “Clear leadership” was the title of the recent Erasmus+ training course in Austria ( Two NELFA participants from Croatia and Romania attended the event – in the framework of our project: “Joining forces for the well-being of rainbow families”. (photo: Daniel Martinovic)

BRUSSELS, 02 April 2019: Once again, the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions discussed the case of our NELFA President Eleni Maravelia and her family (and another case of an Irish-Polish couple). It’s about discrimination against LGBTIQ* and denied EU free movement rights. Summary: strategic litigation will be the best way to go ahead! NELFA and its allies push this issue forward – for sure! We already give some advice. (photo: Eleni Maravelia last year in Brussels)

GENEVA, 02 April 2019: The IFED Network just published some new information about the upcoming International Family Equality Day 2019, which will be officially celebrated on 5th of May. The Network expects events in more than 50 countries all around the world. NELFA supports IFED since the beginning. The Board will celebrate #IFED2019 in Zagreb, Croatia. Read the new press release. (photo: IFED Network, taken during the ILGA-World conference in Wellington. In the picture: i.e. members of NELFA-organisations Sateenkariperheet ry in Finland and Dachverband Regenbogenfamilien in Switzerland)

BRUSSELS, 01 April 2019: NELFA has started its EU election campaign. It’s about the simple question: “What will you do for LGBTIQ* families?”. The campaign is addressed to all MEP candidates within the European Union. Rainbow families should know who will support them openly and actively during the next legislature from 2019 to 2024. Therefore, NELFA has elaborated a little questionnaire. The aim is to publish the results in May, shortly before the elections. More details on the webbpage mentioned above or in the press release. (graphic: NELFA)

ZAGREB, 29-31 March 2019: NELFA active volunteer Boris Vrdoljak and other members of Dugine obitelji (Rainbow Families Croatia) took part in the first Trans Inter March in Zagreb (occasion: Trans Day of Visibility). On behalf of Queer Sport Split and, Boris Vrdoljak also co-organised a panel discussion about trans, intersex and non-binary people in sports and a workshop entitled “How to create sport spaces safe and comfortable for everyone?”. Skills came from a NELFA Erasmus+ training course in Gouda earlier this year! (photo: Boris Vrdoljak)

VERONA, 30-31 March 2019: NELFA took part in a protest rally against the so-called “World Congress of Families”, an anti-LGBTIQ* event. Board member Giovanni Fantoni and many other activists from Famiglie Arcobaleno in Italy waved the flag for rainbow families in Europe, to demonstrate for diversity and equality. In total, there were at least around 30.000 people (source: police) who were in the streets to say NO against all hatred, sown by WCF. Find an article of our Board member Giuseppina La Delfa here (in Italian). (photo: Giovanni Fantoni, here together with LGBTIQ* East expert Rémy Bonny).

BRUSSELS, 28 March 2019: Our friends from ILGA-Europe just started a new blog concerning the important Coman case judgment at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg (June 2018). You will find very useful information about your family’s freedom of movement and how to start a complaint whenever you face difficulties. More information in our section NELFA legal service! (photo: ILGA-Europe)

PRAGUE, 26 March 2019: The Parliament of the Czech Republic didn’t come to a decision on marriage equality. The Chamber of Deputies discussed the topic but finally postponed it. The bill must pass the lower house, then it will be submitted to the Senate. President Zeman has already stated that he wants to veto a same-sex marriage law. Nontheless, the initiative Jsme fér (We are fair) remains hopeful. Read here interesting articles – one and two. (graphic: Jsme fér)

GENOVA, 26 March 2019: NELFA Treasurer Giovanni Fantoni just bought a new flag for the Network. First use: a demonstration (and conference) against the so-called World Congress of Families, an anti-LGBTIQ* event which will take place in Verona (29-31 March 2019). NELFA supports the rally against all hatred and for more diversity, together with its national member Famiglie Arcobaleno. Read a corresponding press release, an article about the conference and your possibility to join the AllOut campaign. (photo: Giovanni Fantoni)

BRUSSELS, 21 March 2019: The Intergroup on LGBTI Rights in the European Parliament (Juliette Sanchez-Lambert) organised a lunch seminar for around 20 EU staff members about the Coman case, its implications and the future for the freedom of movement of rainbow families. NELFA Vice President Björn Sieverding gave a general introduction, individual NELFA member Alina Tryfonidou (University of Reading/UK) talked about her legal analysis and researcher José M. Villaverde from Spain about private international law. (photo: Juliana Teoh)

BRUSSELS, 17 March 2019: The NELFA Board decided to support the current AllOut campaign against the World Congress of Families (WCF) which will be held from 29-31 March in Verona. WCF is one of the most powerful anti-choice and anti-LGBTIQ* groups, it stands clearly against the rights of rainbow families. The campaign is entitled: “Stop sponsoring hate”. And you can also give a donation. (graphic: AllOut)

BARCELONA, 16 March 2019: NELFA’s full member FLG just organised its 4th Annual Educational Workshop – a day of workshops regarding Gender, Activism by Rainbow Families and Education. NELFA’s new President Eleni Maravelia took part in the event. More information here. (photo: Eleni Maravelia)

BRUSSELS, 15 March 2019: NELFA had the possibility to meet staff members of the EU Commission to talk about free movement rights for rainbow families and how to push this issue forward. Next goal will be to set up a list of complaints, in cooperation with ILGA-Europe. Read the corresponding NELFA presentation at the meeting here. (photo: Juliana Teoh [in the picture NELFA Board member Björn Sieverding and Wester Meijdam of DG Justice])

BERLIN, 13 March 2019: Rainbow family rights on the move! The country is on its way to an automatic co-parent recognition for married or partnered lesbian couples. Federal Minister of Justice, Katarina Barley (SPD), just presented a discussion draft (62 pages). In addition, couples in a civil partnership should get joint adoption rights! Read more here (photo: Achim Melde)

AMSTERDAM, 13 March 2019: Turbulent weeks in the Netherlands! In the past years, lesbian couples and single women received funding for their fertility treatment. Some weeks ago, the competent Minister Bruno Bruins (VVD) just changed his mind and this caused a lot of indignation (i.e. with NELFA’s full member Meer Dan Gewenst). In the meantime, more than 90.000 people signed a petition against the decision… and today: the Minister confirmed that the funding will remain at least for this year. In summer, there should be a broader discussion about ART in general. Read more here (in Dutch). (photo: taken during a protest rally on 9th of March in Amsterdam by Rik Spier and Nico Arkesteijn)

BUCHAREST, 12 March 2019: The Senate voted against civil partnerships for same-sex couples. Next week, the Chamber of Deputies must decide – but still: the project has failed for the time being. The efforts of NELFA’s supporting member Asociatia Accept are ongoing and we support them wholeheartedly. Read more here (in Romanian). (photo: Member of the Senate, Serban Nicolae (PSD), Inquam Photos, Octav Ganea)

COPENHAGEN, 11-15 March 2019: NELFA’s next Erasmus+ experience has just started in Denmark. Three active volunteers from France and Bulgaria take part in the training course “Strategic management”, organised by our partner Project: “Joining forces for the well-being of rainbow families“. (photo: Doan Trung Luu)

HELSINKI, 09 March 2019: NELFA (Board) members and active volunteers from all over Europe attended the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Network, hosted by our full member organisation Sateenkaariperheet ry. NELFA has now a new Board. Read the press release and see some further pictures here. (Photo: Giovanni Fantoni)

HELSINKI, 08 March 2019: NELFA’s Finnish member Sateenkaariperheet ry organised a seminar, entitled “The Rights of the Child in LGBTIQ* Advocacy”. Board members and experts from both organisations presented very interesting insights. See here the speeches one, two, three, four, five and six. The seminar was also part of the job-shadowing for five participants (Poland, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria) of NELFA’s current Erasmus+ project. (photo: Joanna Śmiecińska)

AEROE ISLAND, 07 March 2019:

PRAGUE, 27 February 2019: The major of the Czech Republic’s capital Zdeněk Boletus signed a supporting document for the ongoing marriage equality campaign. The organisation

LONDON, 26 February 2019: From September 2020 onwards, all primary schools in England will be required to teach about different families, which can include LGBTIQ* families. And at secondary level, all schools will be required to teach about sexual orientation and gender identity. Read the corresponding Stonewall article. (photo: Stonewall UK, Emli Bendixen)

BRUSSELS, 21 February 2019: The EP’s Intergroup on LGBTI rights published a press release concerning a recent resolution. The Parliament calls on the EU Commission to secure the future of its List of Actions, a strategy document on LGBTI rights presented in 2015 and due to expire this year. The Parliament addresses a series of requests to the Commission, i.e. to take concrete measures to secure freedom of movement for Rainbow Families (and follow-up the implementation of the Coman case). (graphic: EU Commission)

STRASBOURG, 14 February 2019: ILGA-Europe has started a new campaign concerning the EU elections in May 2019, supported by NELFA. The campaign asks MEP candidates to sign the ComeOut pledge publicly, committing them to: 1) Strengthening protection in EU law and policy, 2) Ensuring an enabling environment for LGBTI human rights defenders, 3) Ensuring EU leadership on LGBTI rights, 4) Harnessing the power of their position, 5) Being an ally to under-represented voices. For more information and to get involved, follow the hashtag #ComeOut4EU and visit the new website, (photo: ILGA-Europe)

STRASBOURG, 14 February 2019: For the very first time, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on intersex rights! It sets a clear standard within the European Union for the protection of intersex people’s bodily integrity and human rights. The resolution complements the ground-breaking 2017 intersex resolution ‘Promoting the human rights of and eliminating discrimination against intersex people’ adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. (photo: ILGA-Europe).

BERN, 14 February 2019: The legal committee of the National Council is in favour of a new bill in Switzerland to introduce marriage equality, also with joint adoption rights. Unfortunately, the same committee voted against the possibility for lesbian couples to get access to medically assisted procreation (sperm donation). NELFA’s member Dachverband Regenbogenfamilien and other activits organised a demonstration with 50-100 participants in Bern. Read more here (in German). (photo: Keystone Anthony Anex)

GOUDA, 11-15 February 2019: The next NELFA Erasmus+ experience took place in the Netherlands. Our participant from Croatia (Dugine obitelji) joined the training course “Inspiring facilitation, teaching and training” of our partner organisation In Dialogue. He was accompanied by other activists from Metro/UK and Famiglie Arcobaleno in Italy. (photo: Boris Vrdoljak)

PARIS, 01-02 February 2019: NELFA’s full member apgl (with President Dominique Boren) just organised a colloquium to discuss medically assisted procreation in France and the first six years of marriage equality. Another wonderful review offers the documentary “Mon Enfant, ma Bataille” (My Child, my Struggle). It covers 35 years of the fight for the rights of LGBTIQ* parents and their families in France. (graphic: apgl)

BRUSSELS, 31 January – 02 February 2019: NELFA Vice-President Giuseppina La Delfa (Famiglie Arcobaleno, Italy) took part in a workshop of ILGA-Europe. In total, 32 participants from 16 countries came together to explore how to build new narratives in response to the anti-gender forces. (photo: ILGA-Europe via Twitter)

VIENNA, 24 January 2019: There are worrying news from Austria. The newspaper “Der Standard” just published an article concerning same-sex marriages of binational couples. Obviously, the Ministry of the Interior wants to avoid a recognition if one of the partners comes from a country without marriage equality. Read more here (in German). (photo: APA/Herbert Neubauer)

BRUSSELS, 23 January 2019: NELFA just published its first scientific research! It is a legal analysis of the ‘Coman case‘ before the European Court of Justice, which had ended with a landmark ruling in June 2018: The term “spouse” in the EU Directive 20014/38 (freedom of movement) includes married same-sex couples. The author is Professor Alina Tryfonidou (University of Reading, UK) who joined NELFA as supporting individual member. See the whole document here and the press release. (photo: Alina Tryfonidou)

BUCHAREST, 18 January 2019: NELFA welcomes wholeheartedly its new supporting member, Asociatia Accept in Romania! It is a non-governmental organisation that advocates LGBTIQ* rights since 1996. In recent times, Accept accompanied the court case of Adrian Coman and Clai Hamilton with the landmark ruling in summer 2018 at the EJC and campaigned successfully against the referendum concerning the term “family” in the Romanian constitution. (photo: Asociatia Accept)

BRUSSELS, 17 January 2019: NELFA just started a closer relationship with the EU Commission to advance the rights of rainbow families! President Dominique Boren and Secretary Björn Sieverding met up with Monika Ladmanová (Adviser of Commissioner Jourová – Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality) and issued the very first scientific publication of NELFA. It is a report on the Coman case, written by Alina Tryfonidou. Furthermore, we presented an updated list of difficult freedom of movement cases. (photo: Björn Sieverding)

COPENHAGEN, 14-18 January 2019: NELFA’s first Erasmus+ experience in the new year took place in Denmark. It was again a training course of our partner organisation In Dialogue, entitled “Monitoring and evaluation”. Our participant from Serbia (Grupa Izadji, ERA) took this picture during a work session. The “mobility” was already the fifth one in NELFA’s current project “Joining forces for the well-being of rainbow families”. You find more information about our capacity building here. (photo: Isidora Isakov)

VILNIUS, 11 January 2019: It’s a landmark ruling in Lithuania! The Constitutional Court of the Republic held a public hearing on the case determining whether Constitutional provisions regarding freedom of movement of family members apply for same-sex couples. In its judgement, the Court stressed that refusal to issue a temporary residence permit to stay in Lithuania to a spouse or partner cannot be based solely on the foreigner’s gender identity and/or sexual orientation. Read more. (photo: LGL)

DUBLIN, 11 January 2019: NELFA is delighted by the recent development in Ireland. Same-sex female couples will be able to register both their names on a child’s birth certificate to affirm their parental rights under a new Bill being introduced by the Government. The preparation of the Bill 2019 had been approved and will be probably presented in spring. Read more here (photo: Irish Times)

BRUSSELS, 10 January 2019: Rainbow families still face discrimination, for example in cross-border situations. MEP Sophie in’t Veld (ALDE) asked the Commission in November 2018 what steps citizens can take if the authorities of a Member State refuse to implement the ruling of the “Coman case”? See here the recent answer of the Commission (in English). (photo: EU Commissioner Vera Jourová, source:

WARSAW, 10 January 2019: Jakub and Dawid, a wellknown gay couple in their home country, just lost their court case. Their marriage, conducted in Portugal, won’t be recognised in Poland. This means: the very positive jugdement before the EU Court of Justice (Coman case) last summer is not the end of our road! NELFA will work tirelessly for more equality!! See the video of the court hearing (in Polish). (photo: Jakub i Dawid on Facebook)

VIENNA, 01 January 2019: Austria celebrates marriage equality! The first regular same-sex couple got married at the beginning of the new year, only five minutes after midnight in Velden/Wörthersee. Read more here (in German). (photo: Paier/Kopaunik via


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


©2020 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?