After two dads in Russia took one of their adopted children to a Moscow hospital for treatment, doctors notified Russian authorities and the children have now been taken from the couple.
Gay Star News reports that the men took the child to the emergency room on June 19 for a suspected case of appendicitis.
But when hospital staff realized the boy had two dads, they were reported to the Investigative Committee of Russia.
Adoption by gay couples isn’t allowed in Russia. One of the men legally adopted the two boys, now aged 12 and 14, back in 2010 as a single parent.
The committee ruled the adoption violated the country’s 2013 ‘gay propaganda’ law which prohibits any positive portrayal of LGBTQ people in the media. The government says the law is necessary to protect children from ‘unconventional’ identities.
“A man has been raising two young adopted boys since 2010 in living conditions with another man,” read the committee’s report. “At the same time, he promotes unconventional relations, forming distorted ideas about family values in children, harming their health, moral, and spiritual development.”
In making its determination, the committee ordered authorities to remove the children from their home of nine years.
After multiple attempts to search the family’s home, investigators broke down the doors of the men’s apartment. One of the fathers was interrogated for more than three hours.
The committee also sued the social workers who approved the adoption charging them with negligence.
The social workers were accused of not taking “appropriate measures to protect minors from information harmful to their health and development.”
But, according to the men’s lawyers, the adoption agency had made regular visits over the years to check on the boys’ welfare. The reports filed following visits indicated the children were well and under excellent care.
Gay Star News quotes an LGBTQ activist named Polina who shared that a psychologist who assessed the family found no evidence of abuse, reporting “a healthy and close emotional connection between parents and children.”
Polina notes that this is the first time the ‘gay propaganda’ law has been used to remove children from a family home.