UK Gay Couple Targeted By Polish Minister Over Adoption Procedure

A British court has decided that the son of a Polish mother living in the UK (Aneta Zrobczyńska) is to be adopted. The woman learned from social services that a same-sex couple was to look after the child. The boy’s mother refuses to agree. 

“If this is true, we will take all steps so that the child, if he must be adopted, is adopted by a man and a woman,” said Deputy Minister Michał Wójcik according to Notes From Poland. 

Zrobczyńska’s cause has been taken up by right-wing media outlets in Poland, where attitudes towards LGBTI rights are much more conservative than in the UK, reports Notes From Poland.

Wójcik says the issue had been discussed at the ministry and that “intensive actions” will begin on Monday. “The first step will be to obtain information about the case from the British authorities”.

The Deputy Minister for Justice suggests asking a Polish organisation in the UK to find “a family made up of a man and a woman” who could adopt the child, which would be “very important for preserving the identity of this child”.

“I want my son to have a loving family”

“I asked the Polish consul for help, but he thought it was legal” says the mother to to Wirtualna Polska.

Aneta lost her right to care for her son after she left him in the care of her 13-year-old daughter. In the absence of his mother, the boy burned himself in the kitchen. The woman also struggled with depression. Earlier she lost the right to care for other children.

“I have been fighting for 15 months. I’m not ideal, people make mistakes, and mine cost me a lot. I lost my son. I won’t turn back time, but I want to fix my mistakes. I want my son to have a loving family” says Zrobczyńska to Wirtualna Polska.

Anti-LGBTI Sentiment

LGBTI in Central & Eastern Europe Political Scientist Rémy Bonny is not surprised that the Polish authorities defend an unfit mother over a same-sex couple: “Since the European election campaign, the Polish government is ‘thriving’ on an anti-LGBTI sentiment. Many of their voters live in rural conservative areas. While in the bigger cities progress has been made in the views towards LGBTI-people, almost none was made in the areas where the government gets its votes. A good example of that are the many villages and regions who declared themselves ‘LGBTI-Free Zones’ last summer(see map).”

“The government’s anti-LGBTI campaign has polarised the debate over LGBTI-issues.” A recent opinion poll by IPSOS found that 24% of Poles find the LGBTI-community the biggest threat to their country. Nevertheless, the 2019 Eurobarometer found that already 45% of Poles is in favour of an EU-wide same-sex marriage. 

“The prevention of adoption by same-sex couples in the West by illiberal governments is not rare. In 2014, Russia adopted a law that prevents Russian children to be adopted by same-sex couples. Authorities in Russia even threatened people to take away their children when they would come to Russia. (e.g. Masha Gessen her story) Poland, together with other Central & Eastern EU-countries, is following in the footsteps of Russia if it comes to traditional family values. It’s time for EU-authorities to wake up to this national security threat.”, Bonny concludes. 

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