Laws

ESTONIA

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Asylum / Refugees
  Civil Unions
Custody of Children
Discrimination
Fostering Children
Gender Identity
Harassment
Hate Crimes
  HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Immigration
Inheritance
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
Military
  Parenting
Partners
Property
Sodomy
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

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Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In June 2001, the Parliament of the Republic of Estonia voted to adopt a new Penal code, to replace the Criminal Code in force since 01 June 1992, and make sexual relations between partners of the same-sex legal at 14 years, as for heterosexuals, instead of 16 years as in the former Criminal Code [R1.2], [R1.1].

R1.2 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 380.51kb, MAY 11
R1.1 Tetu Quotidien: Age of Consent Lowered in Estonia 06 JUN 01
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [MARRIAGE] [PARENTING]
1.

National

On 01 January 2016, the Estonian Chamber of Notaries was reported to have said that there are legal uncertainties surrounding the coming into force of the Registered Partnership Act related to divorce, inheritance and other practical matters, The Chamber advised same-sex couples to consider waiting until the rules become clearer [R1.6].

On 09 October 2014, parliament voted 40-38 vote (with 23 absentees or abstentions) to approve the Registered Partnership Act that recognizes the civil unions of all couples regardless of gender, extending financial, social and health benefits provided by the government and legal protection for children to same-sex couples. It does not give adoption rights for couples in such unions but does allow one partner to adopt the biological child of the other. The law comes into effect on 01 January 2016 [R1.5].

On 22 May 2014, the government approved of the draft “On cohabitation”, permitting to register joint living of unisexual couples. It is planned that the law will enter into force in January 2015 [R1.4].


In August 2011, Justice Minister Kristen Michal reportedly wrote to the three other parties in the Estonian Parliament, proposing civil partnership legislation to remove legal discrimination against same-sex couples [R1.3].


In May 2011, Chancellor of Justice Indrek Teder requested that the Ministry of Justice introduce legislation to give same-sex partnerships a legal foundation saying that the current legal framework does not ensure adequate protection of the rights of de-facto cohabitation partners, and is thus contrary to the constitution [R1.2].


In July 2008, it was reported that the Ministry of Justice in Estonia was preparing a draft law which would allow same-sex partners to register their cohabitation [R1.1].

R1.6 abcNEWS: Legal confusion as Estonian gay partnership law enters force 01 JAN
R1.5 abcNEWS: Estonia Approves Same-Sex Partnerships 09 OCT 14
R1.4 InterFax: Homosexual cohabitation to be registered in Estonia 22 MAY 14
R1.3 Star Observer: Ex-Soviet state to recognise gay couples 30 NOV 11
R1.2 ERR News: Justice Chancellor Calls for Same-Sex Partnership Law 25 MAY 11
R1.1 PinkNews.co.uk: Estonia Debates Same-sex Partnerships 30 JUL 08

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Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [HARASSMENT]
1.

National

In 2004, discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation was made unlawful [R1.1].

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 380.51kb, MAY 11
Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In 2006, hate crimes based on sexual orientation considered an aggravating circumstance [R1.1].

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 380.51kb, MAY 11
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In 1992, consensual sex between same sex couples was decriminalised [R1.2], [R1.1].

R1.2 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 380.51kb, MAY 11
R1.1 Capital Q: Repeal of Gay Sex Laws 05 NOV 97
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 23 November 2017, the Tallinn Circuit Court reportedly overturned the ruling of Tallinn Administrative Court according to which the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) was obligated to grant a residence permit Sarah Raud, a US citizen married (in the US) to Estonian Kristina Raud, stating that a marriage between two people of the same sex is not valid in Estonia. The Court also would not allow them to register their cohabitation in Estonia [R1.2].

On 30 January 2017, it was reported that the District Court in Tallinn ruled that there was 'nothing in the way' of registering as married two men who wed in Sweden and now reside in Estonia [R1.1].

R1.2 ERRnews: Circuit court: Same-sex marriage cannot be considered valid in Estonia 25 NOV 17
R1.1 GayStarNews: Gay couple win right to be married in Estonia30 JAN 17
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 09 October 2014, parliament voted 40-38 vote (with 23 absentees or abstentions) to approve the Cohabitation Act that recognizes the civil unions of all couples regardless of gender, extending financial, social and health benefits provided by the government and legal protection for children to same-sex couples. It does not give adoption rights for couples in such unions but does allow one partner to adopt the biological child of the other. The law comes into effect on 01 January 2016 [R1.1].

R1.5 abcNEWS: Estonia Approves Same-Sex Partnerships 09 OCT 14

GayLawNet®™ "Exclusive" Sponsorship of this page IS available