The Greek Left and the adoption of children by homosexuals

The Greek Left is deeply divided on the question of the marriage of homosexuals and of the adoption of children by homosexuals. SYRIZA, PASOK and the majority of the Far Left have supported the law permitting the marriage of homosexuals and – indirectly – the adoption of children by homosexuals – although some of their deputies, one third in the case of Pasok did not follow their parties line. The law was introduced by the Mitsotakis’ government, an extremely neoliberal government acting in practice a simple instrument of US and Israeli policies and, also, of the global LGBTQ+ Lobby. The Communist Party of Greece, independent marxist intellectuals and some organizations of the Greek Far Left have opposed the principle of adoption of children by same – sex couples, invoking mainly the right of children to grow in an environment permitting the normal and healthy development of their psychology and sexuality.
We publish below for the information of our readers the contribution of the Troskyite O.K.D.E. (Organisation of Communists Internationalists of Greece) against the adoption of this law.

Translated article from “Workers’ Struggle”, monthly newspaper of O.K.D.E (Organization of Communists Internationalists – Greece), February 2024

The condemnation of Greece by the European Court of Human Rights for the exclusion of same-sex couples from the ’’Cohabitation Agreement’’ (CA) (which was legislated for heterosexual couples by law 3719/2008), led to the extension of the CA to same-sex couples with the law 4356/2015. The CA settles all civil law issues (financial, property, social, insurance) related to the cohabitation of heterosexual or same-sex couples, and therefore has the same effects as marriage, except for the right to adopt children, which the contracting parties of the CA do not have while married couples do. So here’s why, the question for or against same-sex marriage is misleading;the only real question being asked is  whether one is in favour or against the adoption of children by married same-sex couples[i].

The government’s bill entitled “Equality in civil marriage, amendment of the Civil Code and other provisions” comes with the institutionalization of same-sex civil marriage to pave the way for the artificial procreation of children by same-sex couples. By recognizing the joint parental responsibility of these couples either by joint adoption or by the adoption of the child of one member of a same-sex couple by the other member of the couple. The other ways that technology (and the law for heterosexual couples) offers to overcome the biological inability to have a child (Medically Assisted Reproduction, surrogacy) are not included in this bill, but they are referred to a later step when social resistances will have been worn out.

As OKDE we are opposed to same-sex marriage, because it abolishes the child’s right to motherhood and fatherhood, encourages the further commercialization of reproduction and the  trafficking of children and women, even reaching the danger of eugenics[ii].

Priority is the need and the right of the child to motherhood and fatherhood

For revolutionary Marxists, modern marriage is the legal expression of the family as it is formed in capitalist society. What it regulates is the reproduction of labour power through childbearing and parenting. It does not concern the sexuality of each person, let alone homosexuality which does not include procreation. As for parental care, in addition to the social basis, it also has an objective biological, physical basis, it is the complementary function of man and woman in reproduction.

Of course, a childless heterosexual couple can also be a family, but this is a private matter. The legislative regulations of Family Law for the protection of the family (as well as all relevant international conventions, provisions of the civil code, articles of the Constitution, etc.) have as a background the existence of children, concern the best interests of the children, the protection of their psychosocial development, especially the issue of motherhood and childhood. That is why in the discussion about marriage and the family, the supposedly equal treatment of same-sex couples cannot be put forward. The mental, social and emotional balance of the child should be of primary concern, while the interests and narrow desires of the parents should come second.

With the institutionalization of dual parental maternity or dual parental paternity in same-sex marriage, paternity or maternity respectively is excluded. At the same time, the way is opened for irrational, unscientific and dangerous theories, which are promoted – also through the educational system – about “social construction of gender“, “broad spectrum of gender”, parent 1-2 etc. All these deny the natural origin of the two sexes, the objective biological difference between men and women.

The result is that the child’s need to bond with mother and father is ignored, his social right to the complementary mother-father relationship is bypassed. However, no child should be deprived of the right to maternal and paternal role models, especially motherhood. What hypocrisy, the New Democracy government itself, which three years ago legislated the “mandatory co-custody” of children of divorced parents (law 4800/2021), supposedly to prevent alienation from the father in the event of family dissolution[iii], today is promoting the same-sex parenthood and therefore the complete annulment of either maternal or paternal presence for the adopted child.

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Prudent use and not abuse of the adoption institution.

Now everyone remembers the children in the institutions, who are supposedly cut for “joining a family”. After decades of underfunding, understaffing and abandoning child protection structures by their own policies, they are now parroting day and night that “it is better for a child to be in a same-sex couple than in an institution”. This is a false and pretentious claim. False, because its stability is not proven anywhere, on the contrary it is essentially questioned by today’s adults who grew up in institutions. Pretentious, because there is no lack of applications for adoption, for years applications from couples or individuals are many times more than the children who are available for adoption in the institutions.

Is adoption by a heterosexual or a same-sex couple the same thing? No, because adoption should seek to replace the biological parents as completely as possible. Only the heterosexual couple is the carrier of the necessary balance in a child, who is called to live outside their biological family, ensuring the existence and complementarity of mother and father, which is necessary for the balanced development of the child. For the same reason, the same-sex partner of a biological parent should not be given the right to adopt [iv], the child should not be separated from the biological parent of the opposite sex.

Nothing changes the fact that a heterosexual couple can be incompetent parents; just like a same-sex couple. The unsuitability of same-sex adoptive parents does not lie only in their individual characteristics (character, education, emotional readiness for the role of parent), which may also be present in the case of heterosexual natural or adoptive parents. The problem is the very personal choices of homosexual potential parents, because they deprive the child of the necessary complementary mother-father standards, causing confusion about the distinction and destiny of the two sexes, especially for a child who is already burdened by the absence of natural parents.

The fact that the Civil Code has allowed single-parent adoption since 1946 does not mean that this should be extended to same-sex couples. In all (legal) adoptions the criterion of the best interests of the child dictates that the (heterosexual) couple should be preferred to the individual – female or male. Single-parent adoption has since remained an exception and was usually done to create an artificial kinship relationship, to facilitate inheritance relationships and other legal situations, especially when adult adoption was allowed (until 1996).

Adoption means “providing a family to a child, not providing a child to a family” and the state must ensure that this institution is used judiciously[v], by choosing adoptive parents who can offer the child the most suitable environment in every respect for their healthy development and their smooth integration into society, even taking into account the individualized needs of each child. Children deprived of a biological parent face trauma and a psychological struggle, at least until adulthood. Institutionalizing adoption in order to satisfy the emotional pursuits of adults (eg for their individual fulfilment emotionally or socially), without documenting the child’s best interests, is an abuse of the institution. The child itself, parenthood and adoption cannot be instrumentalized, downgraded to utilitarian means against any feelings of injustice, “exclusions”, social or psychological problems that homosexual people fight against.

It’s high time we put a stop to the commercialization of childbearing

The same-sex marriage bill legalizes the commercialization of procreation and adoption. Recognizing the use of “surrogate motherhood” by same-sex male couples abroad, or the in vitro fertilization through a sperm bank for same-sex female couples is effectively encouraging the further commercialization of childbearing processes by any means.

Medically Assisted Reproduction can be used to treat infertility, but in capitalist society it is exploited for profit. All the bioethical conditions are lifted, leading to theillicit trade in ova (eggs), sperm, the woman’s own reproductive capacity (with the “surrogate mother”, which is an extreme form of exploitation of the female body). We do not have the right to turn a blind eye to the orgy of trafficking babies from poor women, refugees or from poor countries, often with the involvement of private artificial insemination centres[vi].

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Moreover, concerns of eugenics arise with the intervention in the genetic code, the pre-determination of the characteristics of the embryo, etc. Another issue raised: children who come into the world in every possible artificial way and without any moral barrier have no knowledge of their genetic identity, their biological origin. It is a need and a right of every person to know their roots, and this must be protected and guaranteed by the state for all children, as much as possible.

Lets build a defensive wall against Bourgeoises’ excessive Rightsism

Priority the collective, social and class interests of the working class

It is at least hypocritical to argue that the “love” of same-sex partners is enough to raise a child, or even worse that the same-sex relationship is presented as idealized, free of violence, conflicts and other pathogenic situations, which are also found in heterosexual couples. Such views lead to the degradation of one of the two sexes and the heterosexual relationship in general, to the devaluation of fatherhood or motherhood.

The fact that we are opposed to same-sex civil marriage and the institutionalization of joint parental care for the same-sex couple, in no way does it mean unequal treatment of homosexual couples. Just as the retention of parental responsibility by divorced heterosexual parents does not mean unequal treatment of the new spouse. The child’s relationship with his mother and father should not be hindered by divorce, nor replaced by parenthood 1, 2, 3 etc. [vii] Any problems in the coexistence of children – natural or adopted – and partners/cohabitants of their parents in same-sex couples, can be dealt with by relevant legislation or notarial acts, without bypassing the parental responsibility of the biological/adoptive parent. Ultimately, heterosexual and same-sex couples are objectively differentiated, because the former can have children, while the latter cannot. Different situations require different treatment, thus, it is not correct to talk about abolishing all discrimination. The stable cohabitation of same-sex couples is an alternative status that is a matter of “private life”, it is not presumed to be legally equal to that of marriage.

We stand against bourgeois individualisticrightsism, which deliberately obscures the relationship between individual and social rights. With these arguments everything can be supported: from “voluntary” prostitution, drug use, any kind of sexual deviance, even suicide. Every individual right has a specific social content, from which it cannot be separated. We do not uncritically adopt the individual demands and aspirations of each social group, but subordinate them to the collective, social and class interests of the social majority, the exploited working class. Similarly, we do not treat adoption as an individual right of each prospective adoptive parent, but advocate that “children’s rights set the limits of the right to have children”, the “right” to adopt is limited by the interests of the children to be adopted.

Over the last month the workers and the poor masses have been bombarded by an orchestrated single-theme campaign to promote same-sex marriage. The entire bourgeois world and its parties, journalists and TV personalities, the “honorable” world of “arts and letters” hired by the parliament, night and day unleash a cesspool of lies, irrelevance and social cruelty, a war on common sense, on the objective factor in fact, the very sensitivities and resistances of the popular masses. It is absurd that the ND, SYRIZA, PASOK, and the forces of the ‘’New Left’’, who have voted and implemented the Memoranda, the US-NATO imperialist plans, the war in Ukraine and now the genocide in Palestine, teaches us lessons in social sensitivity and progressivism.

Their rage is no accident. It is a central aspect of aggressive neoliberal politics and postmodern ideology, promoted in recent years by the centres of capital in the West (EU, US, bourgeois governments) in the whole sphere of economic, political, cultural, intellectual life. The spectrum is vast; from the Pride parades kindly sponsored by the American embassy, the European programs, the lectures at universities (it is intended to extend it to all levels of education), the “inclusive training” seminars of the workers in the workplaces, various tele-trash on tv , to the European Court convictions and fines for “unequal treatment”. Their goal is to deconstruct social class consciousness, to disorientate from common interests and joint class struggle. Targeting young people in particular, they consciously seek the formation of unstable characters, disconnected from any objective social definition (gender, social relations, class, etc.), broken and easily manipulated. It is the necessary complement to repression, in order to implement the anti-labour policies, which uproot all the workers’ conquests of the Post-colonialism (public education, health, insurance, social welfare).Of course, not only does this not eliminate racist phenomena (and at the expense of homosexuals), but sharpens and intensifies them (see the rise of the extreme right throughout Europe).

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It goes without saying that OKDE’s position has nothing to do with the church’s opposition to same-sex civil marriage, which considers homosexuality a “sin”. Nor with the bourgeois, right-wing and far-right disagreements on the bill, which defend the “Greek Orthodox family” and reproduce the anachronistic separation of the social roles of men and women within the family and society or deny women’s right to abortion.

For OKDE, it is self-evident to oppose to any form of racism, social oppression or exclusion of people with same-sex sexual orientation, highlighting the class unity of the working class. But there is a great distance between tolerance – and here there is obvious progress in Greek society – and the narcissistic/egoistic declaration of individual particularity as a supreme value, as a new revolutionary subject, opposed and antagonistic to class identity. The crisis of the labour and revolutionary movement gave space to the emergence of various “identity movements”, which have nothing to do with the labour movement, its principles and values, nor in social conquests, but act in opposition to the collective class struggle. However, “ideology of identities” in its various aspects has affected a significant part of the Greek extreme left, which with characteristic light-heartedness deifies “equality for all” and declares war on “discrimination”. The revolutionary left must build a defensive wall against bourgeois’ and petty-bourgeois’rightsism; it must consistentlydefend revolutionary theory and practice.

As revolutionaries, we fight for the organization of all the victims of capitalist brutality on the basis of our common class interests, uniting and not dividing the working class according to each individual particularity (gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, etc.). We claim universal social rights to work with decent conditions and wages, with public and free education-health-social insurance system and welfare. To ensure all the conditions (economic, social, cultural) for the actual realization of maternal and paternal responsibility. For the upgrading of social welfare services, the necessary public and social protection of children, adolescents, and young people. For the overthrow of the capitalist system which is a necessary condition for the overall economic, political, ideological, cultural development of humanity, for the definitive liberation of mankind.

As revolutionaries, we fight to shape today activists dedicated to this goal. With an integrity of character, communist consciousness and ethics, willing and being able to resist the social breakdown that the rotten capitalist system to the culmination of its crisisbrings.

[i]The institutionalization of the possibility of fostering children for partners with CA regardless of whether they are people of the same or different sex (law 4538/2018) mediated. Foster care may not be equivalent to adoption, as it does not establish parent-child kinship ties, but it was another step in the direction of recognizing same-sex couples’ right to adopt.

[ii] See the related article in the newspaper, Workers’ Struggle July-August 2022, entitled “Same-sex marriage – No to degenerate bourgeois individualism” (https://www.okde.gr/archives/20938).

[iii] See the related article in the newspaper, Workers’ Struggle, February 2021 entitled ‘’No to mandatory co-custody’’(https://www.okde.gr/archives/13115).

[iv]In the event of the death of one biological parent, the assignment of guardianship of the child by the same-sex partner of the other parent can be considered.

[v]With the depletion of the possibility of staying in the biological or wider biological family, the social investigation of the prospective adoptive parents by social workers, psychologists and other specialists, etc.

[vi]The case of infant trafficking through such a centre in Chania, which came to light last summer, is just one example of this dark chapter.

[vii]With a recent decision of the European Parliament (14/12/2023) on the so-called “European Certificate of Parental Relationship”, the parental relationship of the child with more than two parents is recognized, even with individuals who “claim to be their parents”.

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