The adoption of stepchildren will soon be possible in Switzerland not only for married couples but also for those in a civil partnership, including same-sex couples. The cabinet has agreed that the revised adoption law will enter into force on January 1.
Any inequality will thus be removed and the relationship between child and stepparent will be legally protected, the justice ministry said in a statement on Monday.
A couple will be able to fully integrate the stepchild into the family and make provisions should the biological parent die, it added.
However, the adoption of children where neither adult is the biological parent remains not possible for same-sex couples or those in a de facto partnership.
Other alterations to the adoption law including lowering the minimum age for a person wanting to adopt from 35 to 28, and the minimum length that a couple wanting to adopt must be in relationship from five years to three.
Adoption secrecy will also be relaxed: a biological parent who gives up a child for adoption and who later wants information about the child will in future be able to obtain personal data as long as the child, who must be at least 18, gives his or her permission. If the adoptive child is a minor, the adoptive parents must also approve.
swissinfo.ch and agencies/ts