By Mitch Kellaway
Originally published on Advocate.com August 10 2014 12:23 PM ET
This week, India's federal cabinet voted to bar same-sex couples from adopting children, reports Live Mint. Their draft bill will now progress to Parliament for ratification.
The decision was reached during discussion to amend 2000's Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.
"At a time when the whole world is progressing with respect to LGBT rights, India has taken several steps back with this decision," Danny, a 44-year-old trans man and adoptive father, told Live Mint.
"This is the first time that the government has openly taken an anti-same-sex couple stand," added Poornima, a Dehli-based activist who is currently trying to adopt a child.
Before this recent setback, the Indian government has already placed restrictions on adoption that have affected LGBT couples, including required letters of recommendation and an age requirement. Poornima, for instance, has been unable to adopt yet because her family will not write a letter of support and her partner, who is 28-years-old, has not yet reached the required 30-year-old benchmark.
Officials have not yet decided whether this decision will extend to prospective LGBT parents who are single. According to Gay Asia News, many LGBT Indians choose to adopt as a single parent whether they are partnered or not, as same-sex relations are still criminalized.
Similarly India reversed its colonial-era ban on gay sex in 2009, but then reinstated that law in 2013. The nation, however, legally recognizes its third-gender population, including the new policy that allows them to be fully counted during a recent election.