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Colombia Permits Same-Sex Couple to Jointly Register Child

First Posted: Jan 29, 2016 04:11 PM EST
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Colombian authorities allowed a same-sex couple to jointly register a child with the civil registry, a move celebrated by LGBT rights groups as another step toward equal treatment of gay and lesbian citizens in the South American country.

Juliana González and her partner Carla, who was only identified by her first name and who is the biological mother of Luciana, will now both be recognized as parents of the 7-month-old baby, El Tiempo reported. The two women have been a couple for 10 years. Marcela Sánchez, the director of the Colombia Diversa group, said it was only fair the government recognize their joint rights.

"These two mothers had presented a custody petition in the past, but it had been denied," Sánchez recounted. "But today, the Civil Registry Office authorized the paperwork."

Registrars Apply Court Ruling

After denying initial requests by the couple, officials changed their response due to a decision handed down by Colombia's Constitutional Court last November, the newspaper explained. In that order, Judge Gloria Stella Ortíz had analyzed the case of a Colombian resident, residing in the United States, who had been unable to inscribe her two children in the birth registries of the cities of Medellín and Itagüí.

"The notaries (in Medellín and Itagüí) violated the fundamental rights of minors to human dignity, equality and non-discrimination (and) to the recognition of one's judicial personhood," the judge said in the ruling. He added that civil registrars need to "clearly indicate that in the boxes (of the forms) used to indicate the 'father' and 'mother' of a minor, it will be admissible to use the names of two men or two women."

'A Recognition of Our Community, a Message of Respect'

Nevertheless, González said it had taken a nine-month battle to persuade authorities to register Luciana with her and her partner's names. But the woman added that she was happy the case had come to a positive conclusion.

"It is a success for children, a recognition of our community, an important social advancement and a message of respect," González said.

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