E.U. members must recognize familial ties of same-sex couples and their children, top court rules

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12/15/2021

Children of same-sex couples recognized in one European Union country should be recognized by all members to guarantee their free movement, the European Union’s top court ruled Tuesday, giving a boost to the rights of same-sex parents across the continent. The case was sparked by Bulgaria’s refusal of citizenship to the infant daughter of a same sex couple. The girl, Sara, was born in Spain. One of her mothers was born in Bulgaria, the other in Gibraltar, a British territory. Under Spanish law, Sara, who was born in 2019, cannot get citizenship in Spain because neither of her mothers is of Spanish descent. She was also denied British citizenship because people born in Gibraltar cannot transfer citizenship to their children, according to the British Nationality Act of 1981. Bulgaria’s refusal to issue a birth certificate risked leaving the child stateless and unable to leave her country of residence, Spain. Same-sex marriages and unions are not recognized in Bulgaria.

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