Lesbian parents in Germany move court for equal rights

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5/7/21

When Inga celebrated the birth of her first child with her wife Jenny, the last thing she expected in her bid to be recognised as the baby’s second mother was a criminal record check. So, Inga went to court to change the law. In Germany, only the biological mother is legally recognised as a parent and her female partner must go through a formal adoption process to become the child’s second parent, even if they are married. And, the process can take years. “They asked me for a medical certificate, an HIV test, my criminal records, a self-written report of my life and photos of me with the child, among other things,” Inga, 38, based in Berlin. She added, “There is no information available about how these things are assessed: how healthy do I have to be in order to be allowed to be a parent? How much do I have to smile in the pictures? Or, how much money should I earn?” Inga declined to give her full name as the case involving her parental rights over her second child, filed in December, is ongoing. Inga and Jenny are among more than a dozen lesbian couples who have gone to court since August, last year, seeking to reform Germany’s civil code, which does not recognise lesbian parents, forcing the second woman to apply to adopt her own child.

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