Policy Document

Civil Partnership Act






Family & Children


Marriage & Registered Partnerships

Main implications

While the Estonian Family Law Act, which defines marriage as a union of one man and one women, remains in force, the newly passed Civil Partnership Act is gender neutral, thus extending legal recognition to all registered couples regardless of their sex. It also allows one partner to adopt the other partner’s children. The law requires unmarried couples to register their partnerships in order to gain those rights.

Benefits & Requirements

Coverage: Eligible groups or beneficiaries

All adults without restricted active legal capacity.

Does this document allow for registered partnership?


Do partners have the same rights as those who are married?

Civil partnership has the same rights as married couples

Minimum age required for registered partnerships established by this document:

Attaining the age of 18 years required

Does this document recognize cohabitation as a legal union?


Does this document recognize same-sex unions?

The Civil Partnership Act stipulates that the gender-neutral civil partnership has the same rights as married opposite-sex couples

Read the Law

Original full text source in native language

Riigi Teataja (State Gazette) RT I, 16.10.2014, 1

Full text web source in English


Original full text web source in native language


Comments & Clarifications

Effective in January 2016, the scope of application of the act covers the procedure for entering into a cohabitation agreement, the rights and responsibilities of registered civil partners, and the basis for terminating the cohabitation agreement. A government registry for cohabitation partnerships will be established, and cohabitation agreements will be registered after having been notarised.


Asta Põldma
Estonian Institute for Population Studies, Tallinn University

Data collected in the framework of the Population Europe Research Finder and Archive (PERFAR)

Cite as

SPLASH-db.eu (2014): Policy: "Civil Partnership Act" (Information provided by Asta Põldma). Available at: https://splash-db.eu [Date of access].