EC: same-sex couples and their children must be recognized as family in EU

Representatives of the LGBT community want to be recognised as parents for adopted children across the European Union. Photo:

The Bulgarian authorities believe that a child cannot have two mothers, while the European Union Court of Justice disagrees.

On December 14, 2021, the European Court of Justice ruled that same-sex parents and their children should be recognised as a family in all EU member states, reports

In a ruling, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU – Ed.) said that if one country acknowledges a parental relationship with a child, then every member state should do the same to guarantee the child's right to free movement.

The case went to court after Bulgarian authorities refused to give a birth certificate for a girl to same-sex parents on the grounds that the child could not have two mothers.

Bulgarian-born Kalina Ivanova and British Gibraltar-born Jane Jones are both registered as the mothers of Sara, who was born in Spain in 2019.

Ivanova requested Bulgarian citizenship for her child. But this request was rejected by the Bulgarian authorities. Sara does not have Spanish citizenship, which means she cannot leave the country because she has no personal documents.

The CJEU also ruled that the child should be issued a Bulgarian passport. Arpi Avetisyan, head of litigation at NGO ILGA-Europe said: "The judgment has brought long-awaited clarification that parenthood established in one EU Member State cannot be discarded by another, under the pretence of protecting the 'national identity'”.

The CJEU's ruling in Sarah's case is not subject to appeal.

As previously reported, the Swiss supported LGBT marriages with the right to have children in a referendum.

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