, 17 December, 2020 / 6:37 AM
A family consists of a father and a mother who are also sexually male and female: With this definition, Hungary has de facto forbidden the adoption of children by homosexual couples. The Hungarian parliament passed a corresponding law on Tuesday – it enshrines a definition of parenthood that effectively prohibits adoptions by same-sex couples and makes adoptions by singles more difficult.
As expected, this move has been sharply criticized by LGBT activists and their supporters.
According to the government, the change is the latest of several measures to preserve Hungary’s Christian identity and to increase birth rates. “If we give up our Christianity, we will lose our own identity, as Hungarians, as Europeans,” said Katalin Novák, Hungary’s Minister of State for Family Affairs, to the CNA last December.
Around half of the Hungarian population describes themselves as Roman Catholic, while around a fifth describe themselves as Protestant or of another Christian denomination. Another fifth of the population says they have no religious affiliation, while the rest of the population belongs to Jewish, Muslim and other religious minorities.
Novák told CNA in 2019 that the Hungarian leadership was worried about the future of the country, as the birth rate of 1.48 was well below the reproductive level of 2.1 children per woman.
“We have a demographic challenge ahead of us,” said Novák.
While some countries – including Germany – are relying on immigration, Hungary is trying to reverse the trend with a two-pronged approach: financial incentives for families to have more children and promoting a culture that is committed to life and welcomes large families, added her.
That is why the Hungarian government has started providing financial incentives for couples in the country to marry and have children, including subsidized loans for those who marry before their 41st birthday. The incentives to have children are built into the loan: a third of the loan can be waived if the couple has two children, and all of the loan can be waived if they have three children.
Women with four or more children are exempt from income tax for life.
Families with three or more children are eligible for a grant to purchase a car that seats seven or more people.
Hungary claims the policy is working: the Central Statistics Office recently reported a 20% increase in marriages in 2019. But a higher number of children has not yet been seen.
At the beginning of this year, Hungary also passed a law that records a person’s biological sex at birth. This makes it more difficult to change “gender”, for example by transgender people.
Hungary also sees part of its Christian identity in helping Christian victims of persecution in other countries. In Iraq, the government helped resettle Christian genocide victims through its aid program “Hungary Helps” and made more than $ 3 million available for this.
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