Homosexual Adoption Before European Rights Court

Austrian Case to Be Heard in October

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ROME, SEPT. 17, 2012 (Zenit.org).- On Oct. 3, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights will hear a case regarding homosexual adoption. It involves a woman who wishes to adopt the son of her female partner (X and others v. Austria, no. 19010/07). 

A press release from the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) explained that the two women are arguing that current Austrian law regarding adoption is an infringement of their private life and discriminatory. 

The ECLJ was granted leave to intervene as a third party.

The two women want to be recognized legally as a “family.” Austrian authorities declared that this adoption would be contrary to the interest of the child and refused it, the ECLJ said. 

In their view they considered that a woman could not be a substitute for the father and there was no cause for depriving the father of his rights.

The women’s case is being supported by the international LGBT lobby. The counsel of the applicants, Helmut Graupner, is the director for Europe of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Intersex Law Association (ILGLaw) as well as legal counsel of ILGA-Europe. 

According to the ECLJ the material presented so far does not give any information about the father, except that he is blamed for not giving valid reasons to refuse the adoption. The father was not just a sperm donor and information from Austrian courts show that the father has regular contact with his son. 

The father has the right and the duty to go on caring for his son both under national and international law (especially Convention on the Rights of the Child Art. 5, European Convention on the Legal Status of Children born out of Wedlock Art. 6), the ECLJ pointed out.

Moreover, international conventions relating to adoption insist on the necessity of the consent of the biological parents as a prerequisite for adoption.

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Related Documents :

Statement of facts by the Court - http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/fra/pages/search.aspx?i=001-112158#{%22itemid%22:[%22001-112158%22]}

Public hearing webcast of 1st December 2011 - http://www.echr.coe.int/ECHR/EN/Header/Press/Multimedia/Webcasts+of+public+hearings/webcastEN_media?id=20111201-1&lang=en&flow=high