“The greatest gift a child can get is to be loved.”
March 10, PRAGUE—A memorable step for the LGBT community in the Czech Republic comes at a delayed time compared to most of the western world. In today’s rapidly modernizing world, a look at Prague might have you wondering what century they’re living in. Orphanages are crammed, while at the same time courts will not grant loving families to care for them.
For gays and lesbians living in civil relationships in the Czech Republic, they have been unable to legally adopt until recently. Thanks to the groundbreaking efforts of Petr Laně and his partner, Jan, they have succeeded in achieving adoption rights through the Czech legal system. Petr is presently setting the framework for future families wanting to adopt in the Czech Republic. Petr sued the state of Czech Republic on 6/2016.
The couple will soon adopt their first child under the full custody of Petr. Petr is the CEO and Public Relations Manager for the organization PROUD. PROUD looks out for the LGBT community in the Czech Republic and supports their community by promoting their voice, seeking a better working environment, and supporting legal rights in adoption and marriage.
Petr and his partner have been enduring a series of unwanted psychological tests, interviews, and trials in order to reach their final objection—a home. Petr and Jan are so open to adopting a child they have disregarded race, nationality, and color as qualifications for adoption. “When you are ready for adoption, you should want to share love not just for a specific one. We don’t care what nationality or race our child will be we will love him either way” said Petr.
Their future son’s room has already been prepared with furniture and open hearts. A home is a place where you share community, where you can freely express yourself, and where life is shared. No one should be denied a right to a loving home.
And yet, in the Czech Republic there are over 6.700 children living without a home, many because they have a background Czech foster families would prefer not to have such as gipsy (Roma) or because of a different skin tone. However, most people in the LGBT community are acceptant of unwanted backgrounds or children who look differently from them. They possess an innate unconditional love for people and for children.
“We want to give a home to someone who doesn’t have one,” said Petr.
Photo from www.proud.cz photobank
“Taking care of children raised by homosexual couples is no worse than that of heterosexual couples. Sometimes it is even better because they try to compensate for increased atypical families caring for children and their intellectual and emotional development.“
Prof. MD.Cyril Hoschl (Psychiatric Professor, National Director of the Intellectual Institute)
“A lot of people don’t know what adoption really is. They think it’s an easy process,” said Petr. But it’s even harder when you are trying to make new laws for a minority group.
“We took a 48-hour adoption course it’s about the kids who are up for adoption. Children have a lot of problems when they go through the adoption process. They want to prepare the foster parents. It’s very depressing. You start with excitement on Monday and by Friday you’re depressed.”
The excitement is bringing a lot of unwanted criticism as well, as people living in their traditional ways are trying to judge them. Petr and his partner will eventually walk proudly with their newborn boy as he walks through life always remembering the fight they took to receive him.
Before the law changed, gays and lesbians could adopt, but they couldn’t live in a civil partnership, as soon as they changed to a civil partnership the adoption was invalid. Now, as the first gay couple living in a civil relationship to legally adopt in the Czech Republic, there has been an increasing amount of hate through email and on Facebook. “I’m surprised that the most hate comes from religious people. They actually tend to be the worst, normally I don’t read it,” said Petr.
Haters can only write negative comments but nothing more. Members of the LGBT community have stories of people attacking them for just holding hands, or losing friends because of traditional ideology. It’s strange for them to think that this is normal because it hasn’t been allowed. Praguers who have travelled outside of the Czech Republic are more comfortable and open as opposed to those who have lived in the Czech Republic their whole lives.
“Yes, we hope we will be parents soon and probably the first gay couple in a civil partnership. There will be more couples like us, if you have something wrong with it, move on.”
“Now we are waiting for the final interview, and from a call from the office to say your son is waiting for you, go give him a hug,” said Petr.
“Every child needs healthy development from loving and caring people that are there for him when he needs it. It honestly does not matter what sex they are. It always depends on the individual and their parenting skills, not on the gender. The traditional family model, is undoubtedly to raise children, but we have no relevant knowledge that the children who grow up with parents of the same sex were in his development somehow fundamentally disadvantaged. The current reality of family cohabitation is so varied, the families of same sex parents deserve comparable support and protection for themselves and their children, like any other family. “
PhDr. Hana Pazlarova (President of the SOS Association for children, social worker)
Petr is adopting from Natama, which is an institute for family care development for children in the Czech Republic. It was established in 2003, for children who have gone through trauma.
“It’s important to fight, say we are here, and we have the same life as you. We are not creatures and we are able to be good parents.”
So watch and see. Watch that yes human beings can be good parents no matter their sexual orientation. Being a heterosexual never is the sole principle for preceding good parenting.
Now Petr’s life will be focused on parenting. “My priority is my baby.”
— I want to personally Petr for opening up to me and for sharing his story. Thank you for your boldness and I encourage you to keep going. Live your life and love your family.
Photos from www.proud.cz photobank.
Written by Brittney Pilarcik.