Court bars adoption for lesbian couple

21st February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 20, 2007 (AFP) - France's appeals court on Tuesday barred a woman from adopting the biological child of her lesbian partner, saying it was not in the interest of the child.

PARIS, Feb 20, 2007 (AFP) - France's appeals court on Tuesday barred a woman from adopting the biological child of her lesbian partner, saying it was not in the interest of the child.

Lesbian couples are prohibited under French law from adopting, but the partners of biological mothers have used adoption as a way of establishing the rights of both parents over the child.

The Cour de Cassation however ruled Tuesday that a lesbian couple could not share parental authority over a child as only the adoptive mother enjoyed those rights.

The ruling capped a long legal battle for Carla Boni who had won a ruling in a lower court to adopt the son of her partner Marie-Laure Picard who was conceived through artificial insemination.

"This decision stems from a conservatism that is unjustified," Boni told LCI television. "How can we say that it is not in the interest of the child to recognize the two parents, whoever they may be."

"This is a political decision that is not in the interest of the child."

Lawyer Caroline Mecary, representing the lesbian couple, expressed regret that "the highest court failed to recognize that the children of two parents of the same sex enjoy the same rights as children from heterosexual couples."

She called for new legislation "to quickly remove the obligation placed on a biological mother to give up her parental authority to her partner."

More than 100,000 children are being raised by gay couples in France, said Mecary, arguing that they should enjoy the same rights as other children.

In its ruling, the appeals court confirmed a lower court decision that the adoption by a lesbian partner was illegal because the biological mother continued to exercise rights over the child.

Sharing parental authority "through adoption is antinomic and contradictory as the adoption of a minor is aimed at conferring parental authority solely to the adopting parent," said the ruling.

France in 1999 recognized gay unions by offering a civil contract known as PACS, but the measure falls short of offering same-sex couples the same rights as marriage.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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