EU Court: Bulgaria is Obliged to Issue Identity Documents for Children with Same-Sex Parents
The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that once a child's origin is established in a Member State, it should be recognized throughout the Union, regardless of the sex of the parents or national law.
The decision is at the request of the Sofia City Administrative Court (SCAC). It comes as a result of the lawsuit filed by a lawyer Denitsa Lyubenova due to the refusal of the Sofia Municipality, Pancharevo District to issue a birth certificate for two-year-old Sarah.
Two-year-old Sarah lives in Spain with her two mothers, one of whom is Bulgarian and is still without identity documents. The SCAC is about to implement the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union, obliging the Bulgarian administration to issue identity documents for the child so that Sarah can exercise her right to move freely in the European Union as a European citizen.
Lawyer Denitsa Lyubenova, a procedural representative of the applicants and director of the Legal Program of the LGBTQ organization “Deystvie”, stated:
"The decision of the CJEU is fully in line with the principles on which the EU is built, as well as with the current case law of the Court, namely that all European citizens should be treated equally. Bulgaria is obliged to recognize Sarah's legal relationship with both of her mothers. Bulgaria cannot rely on its national and constitutional identity and public order to derogate from the fundamental rights of EU citizens. According to the Court of Justice of the European Union, the child Sarah is the heir of her Bulgarian mother and her British mother, and both mothers have the right to inherit from each other," explained lawyer Denitsa Lyubenova.
Veneta Limberova is the chairwoman of the LGBTQ Organization "Deystvie", which provides free legal aid to Sarah's parents. According to her, the decision is significant for the whole European community, but also for Bulgaria, as the institutions will now be obliged to recognize and not deny the rights of children with same-sex parents.
"We are excited about the decision and can't wait to get Sarah's documents and finally be able to see our families in more than two years. It's important for us to be a family not only in Spain but in every country in Europe and finally, this can become reality. This is a long-awaited step forward for us, but also a huge step for all LGBTQ families in Bulgaria and Europe," said the mother of baby Sarah.
LGBTQ organization "Deystvie" through Legal Program conducts strategic cases for the recognition of marriages concluded abroad, birth certificates issued by other countries, discrimination, incidents, and hate crimes against LGBTQ people. The free legal program, funded by European programs, the Active Citizens Fund, the Bulgarian Fund for Women, and the Equal Rights Fund, has more than 120 legal consultations and more than 30 lawsuits filed in national courts in 2021. Through the LGBTQ legal program “Deystvie” so far, three cases have been filed before the European Court of Human Rights in connection with the violation of the rights of LGBTQ people in Bulgaria, on which decisions are expected.
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