Saturday, November 22, 2014

'Three in a Couple' feeds debate on new family in Sweden.

Erik, Linda and Hampus lived together for two years and care for their five children. "We are a family of eight:. Mom, Dad, Dad and five children. We live in a three adult relationship, in which the three love each other"

The statement by the Swedish Linda Fridland, to a program of the TV channel TV4, created a controversy over the traditional concept of family in Sweden, the debate that has been happening in Brazil.

Linda Fridland and her husband Erik lived together for 15 years then they met Hampus Engström in 2012, in the taxi company they work for, when all three fell in love.

  Linda and Erik already had four children. Hampus was the father of a three year old girl and would separate the woman shortly after.

That year, all were living together in the same house at Strömsund in northern Sweden.

"The family formed by a man, his wife and their children is still the predominant concept. But, nowadays, people are more open to the fact that there are other ways of living," says Linda.

The case of Linda and her two husbands is still, however, a taboo, even in progressive Sweden, where several boundaries were broken over the years on the traditional concept of family.

In Swedish children's literature, stories of children of gay couples - children with two fathers or two mothers, have become common.

Since 2003, gay couples have the right to adopt children and lesbians have access to state subsidies to try to get pregnant through fertility treatments.

Sweden was the first country to adopt in 1944 a law legalizing homosexuality and that continues today - in Russia, homosexual acts were legalized only between 1917 and 1930, getting banned until 1993, when they were allowed again. In 2009, the Swedish government has also legalized gay marriage.

But the notion of polygamy still faces barriers, as shown by the several pages of newspaper articles dedicated in Sweden to discuss the case of Linda, Erik and Hampus.

"What seems to bother most people is the fact that a relationship between a woman and two men, and not the opposite. It's like they think 'she is not content with one'. But it's a misconception," said Linda in an interview with the newspaper Aftonbladet.