Osaka the first city in Japan to certify gay couple as foster parents

Kathmandu (Pahichan) April 10 – The city of Osaka has officially recognized a same-sex couple as foster parents, becoming the first municipality in the nation to do so, according to municipal and central government officials.

The city government formally recognized two men in their 30s and 40s as foster parents of a teenage boy who has been under their care since February. The couple asked to remain anonymous.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Wednesday there is “no precedent” for a same-sex couple being certified as foster parents.The city granted the their request to become guardians after determining they understood the foster care system and had the financial wherewithal to raise a child.

Support has been growing for protecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and municipal governments are gradually recognizing same-sex partnerships as equivalent to marriage.

Traditionally, only married couples or individuals are allowed to become foster parents. Members of the LGBT community have been eligible to foster children, but only as individuals.“I am happy we became foster parents (and recognized) as a single household, not just as individuals,” the older of the two men said, adding the boy is now “living a comfortable life as he talks about his school and friends.”