Osaka Same-Sex Couple Certified as Foster Parents
Osaka, April 6 (Jiji Press)—The Osaka municipal government has certified a male couple in the western Japan city as yōiku satooya, or foster parents who, for a certain period, take care of children unable to live with their own parents due to various reasons, it was learned Thursday.
It is believed to be the first time that a same-sex couple have been picked as foster parents in the country.
"I've never heard of such a case," said an official of the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry.
The category of yōiku satooya is part of the foster parent system stipulated under Japan's child welfare law.
Prefectural governments or other local authorities certify such foster parents based on criteria set by the welfare ministry. There is no provision banning same-sex couples from becoming foster parents.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]