Judge grants lesbian couple right to joint maternal custody

A judge in Colombia granted a lesbian couple the right to joint maternal custody of their child on Friday after the non-biological mother had previously been denied this right.

A criminal court in the department of Antioquia ruled that the couple, both the biological mother and her partner, had the right to joint legal custody of the child and ordered that Colombia’s Family Welfare Institute proceed with the official adoption process for the partner of the biological mother.

The two women, who have been together since 2005 and formalized their union before a notary in 2008, decided to have a baby via artificial insemination, reported news station W Radio on Friday.

When they approached the Welfare Insititute in order that both the biological mother and her partner attain joint custody they were denied on the grounds that a same-sex partnership does not consititute a family.

The two women subsequently took out a court order to challenge this denial.

Friday’s court ruling has given the Welfare Institute 48 hours to process the order however, as the custody request was denied the first time, the Institute may challenge this ruling. As of yet, they have not announced a decision.

“For the first time in the history of the country that a court decision on this subject has been made and it reveals prejudice and discrimination on the part of the Welfare Institute against same-sex couples as well as a disregard for children’s rights in favour of those of adults,” declared the lesbian couple’s lawyer in a report by newspaper El Espectador.

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