Family types

Nuclear family consists of a child or children and their biological parents.


Single parent is a man or a woman living alone with his/her child or children. Divorce is common in Iceland, as are births to parents who are not married or living together.


This means that families with just one parent and a child, or children, living together, are common in Iceland.


Parents looking after their children alone are entitled to child support from the other parent, receive higher levels of child benefit and pay lower daycare fees than couples and spouses.


Step-families consist of a child or children, one biological parent and one step-parent/cohabiting parent assuming a parental role. The biological parent and the step-parent often both have each their own children elsewhere, meaning that the children will have step-siblings. When the parents have children together, the family can take on a very diverse form.


In foster families, the parents take in children who are not their own for a certain period of time.


Adoptive families are families with a child or children who have been adopted.


Homosexuals who are married or in registered cohabitation may adopt children or have children using artificial insemination, subject to the usual conditions governing the adoption of children, and have the same rights as other parents if they have children previously.


Violence within the family is prohibited by law. It is prohibited to inflict violence, whether mental or physical, on one’s spouse or children.
Domestic violence can be reported to the police. If violence is directed at children, this should be reported to the Government Agency for Child Protection or contact the police via 112.


Have a look at our section about violence, abuse and negligence.

We all have human rights: Equality

As laid out in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international agreements and national law, everyone should enjoy human rights and freedom from discrimination. Equality means that everyone is equal and no distinction is made on the basis of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other views, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status.


This video is about equality in Iceland, looking at the history, the legislation, and the experiences of people who have received international protection in Iceland.


Made by Amnesty International in Iceland and The Icelandic Human Rights Centre. More videos can be found here.

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