A few days ago, two Japanese men adopted a young boy as their foster child, becoming the first gay couple able to be foster parents in their country.
The news have been spread everywhere and people are currently celebrating this event which represents a real change for LGBT people in Japan, such as in this article.
This is indeed an important action for Japanese LGBT people. However, what is more important is to remind that they still don’t have the rights that they deserve, in Japan like in a lot of other countries.
That adoption was possible in Osaka but not in other Japanese cities. Even if Japan is the iniciator of genres about gay people : yaoi (mangas about a m/m relationship) and yuri (mangas about a f/f relationship), LGBT rights weren’t something the government cared about until recently. Laws for LGBT people aren’t numerous at all, as we can see on this website dedicated to LGBT rights : Change of legal sex is allowed since 2003 but, apart from that, LGBT people are ignored by the law. Same-sex relationships are allowed but they can’t marry. They can only use the japanese adult adoption, a very common practice in the country : an adult can adopt another adult so they will be a part of their family and take their family name. The adoptee only has to be over 15 and to be at least a day younger than the person is adopting them. The adult adoption has existed for centuries to expand families and for economical reasons and is now used by LGBT people to be recognized as couples (some yaois actually show that). Furthermore, there is no national laws to protect them for discrimination, for example. It only exists in some cities.
Even if studies and polls have shown on websites such as Equaldex that Japanese people weren’t hostile against LGBT people and that discrimination against them was uncommon, there should be a law about it.
Adoption rights for them are also ambiguous because they can fully adopt a child as theirs individually but not often as a couple.
Japan, as I said earlier, isn’t the only country which lacks LGBT rights.
Being LGBTQ+ is still punished by death in 12 countries : Afganistan, Irak, Saudi Arabia, Brunei, some parts of Nigeria, Mauritania, Soudan, Somalia, some parts of Syria and in Yemen.
Same-sex marriage is allowed in only 20 countries, mostly in Europe.
In 72 countries, LGBTQ+ people still get punished in different ways such as jail, torture etc, because of who they are.
In my country, France, gay couples can marry since 2012 when the gouvernement changed the conditions for people to marry there. It was legalized only 5 years ago. Adoption is still too often complicated for them because heterosexual couples, according to some LGBT organisations preferred over gay couples. Moreover, GPA is forbidden for any french citizen.
We have won a lot of battles, but let’s keep fighting : the war isn’t over yet.