Investigators used Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law to remove the boys from their home.
A trip to the emergency room soon turned into a nightmare for two dads, who have been separated from their adopted children after authorities ordered them to be taken away from them. Lawyers for the men have described their situation as ‘terrifying’ as Russian authorities try to seperate them from their children.
On 19 June 2019, two men brought one of their sons to a Moscow hospital to treat a suspected case of appendicitis. The men remain unnamed for their own safety.
But the doctor found out the boy had two dads and immediately reported them to the Investigative Committee of Russia. The Committee went on to sue the social workers who approved the children’s adoption for ‘negligence’. It also ordered authorities remove the boys from their family home.
In July, things got worse. Authorities from the Committee tried multiple times to search the dads’ apartment and those of their immediate family. Eventually, investigators broke down the doors of the men and one of their brothers. They also interrogated one of their fathers for more than three hours.
The Committee decided the adoption contravened Russia’s controversial ‘gay propaganda’ law. Introduced in the 2013, the law forbids the positive representation of LGBTI people in media. The government argued the law stopped the ‘promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors’.
The dads and their modern family.
One of the men in the relationship legally adopted the two boys now aged 12 and 14 in 2010. Same-sex couples are not allowed to adopt children in Russia, but single people are.
According to their lawyers, the adoption agency in Lyublino carried out regular visits to the home from 2010 to 2019. The agency reported the men looked after the boys very well.
The neighbors of the couple were present during the search. They gave comments to the media, in which they said only good things about the family.
According to them, they did not notice any signs of trouble, the children grew up in an intelligent and calm atmosphere, and the parents took care of the children.
After the adoption of the so-called ‘gay propaganda’ law in 2013 on the federal level, it became apparent that this law was going to be a tool of oppression of the LGBTI community.
The only thing LGBTI people can do to be completely safe is to stay invisible, hide their SOGIE (sexual orientation and gender identity), lie in their social environment.
It also became clear that same-sex families with children were going to be the most vulnerable group under this law, because under this law, you are ‘doing propaganda’ every day just by being a family.
We were all scared for families with adopted children, because it would be so easy to annul adoptions and break up families.
This precedent will also pose a huge threat to all existing same-sex families, driving them further underground.
These trends will cause huge harm, first and foremost to the children, who otherwise could have loving and supportive families.