Same-Sex Adoption in Ancient Rome

I’ve been looking around a lot and haven’t seen any word on adoption. I’m aware Ancient Rome had same-sex unions, rather than marriage, but did they have adoption for same-sex couples as well?
Citations please.

Edit: Moreover, what was the reasoning of their decision?

While I’m not sure without doing a lot of research about the specific answer to your question, I would point out that in general terms especially among the political elites, adoption was often a political gesture of some kind rather than a familial one.

While the Romans of course had nuclear families the way members might interact with those of other families, especially when you bring in Roman practices like patronage, mean we should be extremely wary of looking at (say) Julius Caesar’s adoption of Octavian through modern ideas about adoption. So same-sex adoption if it occurred (I was not aware of ‘unions’ either, quite honestly) should be viewed relatively rather than absolutely.

Good luck to posters who go digging for this information. That sounds like it will be very hard to find based on the documentation we have of Roman laws before Constantine.

For good reason, it’s nonsense.

There was no such thing as same-sex marriage or same sex unions in Roman law.

There were NO legally recognized same-sex unions in Rome. Homosexuality was wide-spread, but it never had any legal consequences. Emperor Nero had a mocked “marriage” to a man, but it was a farce.

The only doubt on this issue might be caused by one Roman gravestone, which depicted two women holding their hands and referred to them as being in some sort of union. But that’s a controversial piece of evidence. They might as well be sister-like friends in life.

Romans had marriage (matrimonium), legal cohabitation (concubinatum, it had some consequences of marriage, but could not produce legitimate children) and cohabitation of slaves (contubernium, created no legal consequences). All those were between one man and one woman.

Adoption in Roman law was understood differently from our times. Its purpose was mainly not to raise the child, but to admit a new member into a family as a social and legal unit. It was a purely men’s thing: only a man, irrespective whether single or married, could adopt someone. It was of two types: arrogatio (when the adopted person had no living father) and adoptio (when the adopted person had a father; after procedure he/she lost all legal relation to the biological father).

All this You may find in any Roman law textbook. If You are interested in a deeper analysis of Roman marriage, check this scholar: .

I learned about that gravestone from a chapter by this guy, from an upcoming Oxford Handbook of Roman law. It is not published yet.

Ancient Rome did not have legal same-sex unions. There would not have been any legal reasons for it. Powerful homosexual men still often had wives so they could have children (aka heirs)

We’ve been told by the liberals that ss weddings have long been legal. My question is if they were legal in the past what happened to those civilizations. My guess is that they collapsed under their immorality.:confused:

1). You will have to provide proof for your same sex Union assertion.
2). You do history a disservice by assuming modern thought to a civilization that does not exist today. This is not a good mindset to view historical societies.

To be fair very few civilizations collapsed because of something as fickle as morality. Though it did happen at least biblically. Immorality is not really the cause of the Roman downfall.

Don’t be too sure. A lack of morality and indulgence of pleasures keeps one off-guard. There some pretty shocking things going on in Rome before the empire fell.

No more shocking than when the empire rose…

That was my understanding anyway! Agreed.

You kind of missed the main point. Where are those civilizations today and why are there fights for SS marriages today if it was widely accepted by many civilizations in the past and for long periods of time?

The point has not been missed but rather contested. Legal homosexuality would have been a rarity in many civilizations. Rome included. Rome rose to power on the backs of slaves as did egypt. It was incredibly violent and immoral on its rise. All civilizations are. Rome was exceptionally bad. From Caesars to gladiators to crucifixions to rampant rape and sex between any genders. It rose to power this way. Empires fall very basically. They are either conquered or they collapse under their own weight. Sodomy is not an empire killer. It isn’t even a sign of the decay of one. It is just a sin that displeases God, no more no less.

So you are saying SS marriages have always been legal in Rome and still are and never ceased.:confused:

Nope. The opposite as several
Posters have pointed out that is a myth. My point to you is an aside. A pet peeve about how people say immorality is what brings down empires. It is sloppy history.

The Romans used to feed people to wild animals as entertainment, leave unwanted children in the wilderness to die, and would execute people with crucifixion (all three of those traditions were ended by The Early Catholic Church, in case you were wondering).

Though advanced in technology and administration, The Romans arn’t the best culture to base your moral compass on.

Immorality leads to corruption. Corruption leads to civilization collapsing.

I can’t answer.

But they had their conscience. Honing a conscience is a practice that involves being attentive and adhering to God’s commandments. The conscience in turn serves the person by discerning the right choice. The better his friendship with God, the better his chances of making the right choice.

The Romans had consciences, thus accountable.

Just like we are witnessing here in the U.S.A… As we grow more immoral the less relevant we become, worldwide. Those who don’t believe immorality leads to a downturn in a civilization are the very reason that history repeats itself. We don’t learn from the past. We call the past something that disconnects from reality.

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