Parliament narrowly passes heated cohabitation act

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Häälte jagunemine kooseluseaduse vastuvõtmisel.

PHOTO: Sander Ilvest

In a close call today, Riigikogu ratified the heated and controversial cohabitation act allowing both opposite and same sex people registration of partnership.

The bill initiated by 40 MPs git yes voted by 40 Reform Party, Centre Party and soc dems representatives. The 38 no-voters hailed from Reform Party, Centre party and IRL. 10 Riigikogu members abstained from voting altogether.

The act will enter into force in 2016 provided that, by that time, the parliament has passed the implementing provisions required. While the bill itself passed by simple majority, implementing act will have to have 51 MPs for it.

If enforced, opposite and same sex couples will get rights to officially register cohabitation, while specifying financial details thereof.

While initially the act contained intestate successor clause, this was deleted by legal committee with view of adding it later.

During the duration of cohabitation contract, a registered partner may only adopt biological children of the other party, or children adopted before partnership was entered. If the restriction is judged unfair by court – like a man of a woman medically unable to have children – as an exception they will be granted right to adopt child of third person.

The cohabitation contract will automatically end upon death of one party or if the couple gets married. The contract by application by parties to notary, or a judge at court.