BRUSSELS/WARSAW (REUTERS) - People living in same-sex couples will be barred from adopting children in Poland even as single parents, under a new law from a nationalist ruling party which has made anti-gay policies a major part of its governing platform.
Poland already bans same-sex couples from adopting children together. But some families were able to get around this ban by having one member of a couple adopt children singly. That will now be explicitly banned.
"We are preparing a change where (...) people living in cohabitation with a person of the same sex could not adopt a child, so a homosexual couple will not be able to adopt a child," said Deputy Justice Minister Michal Wojcik.
Adoption agencies running background checks would be required to pay "special attention" to whether a single person seeking to adopt is living in a homosexual relationship, he said.
Poland's curbs on gay rights, which are being mimicked in Hungary, has put Warsaw and Budapest on a collision course with the EU, which has also criticised the two ex-Communist states over judicial independence, hostility to immigration and other issues.
Over the past two years, more than 100 towns and cities in Poland have declared themselves "LGBT-free zones". The EU has responded by threatening to withhold some European funds from such towns, which the Polish government has offered to replace.
The European Parliament is due to vote on Thursday on a resolution that would declare the entire 27-nation European Union an "LGBTIQ Freedom Zone". The resolution states that "LGBTIQ rights are human rights".
Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) Party says gay rights are a threat to the country's Roman Catholic lifestyle.
Its critics say it has turned to politics of bigotry to cling to power, particularly since an election last year, which PiS incumbent President Andrzej Duda narrowly won with an appeal to conservative voters focused on anti-gay messages.