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Latino Daily News

Thursday February 21, 2013

Puerto Rico Supreme Ct Denies Adoption Rights to Partner in Lesbian Relationship

Puerto Rico Supreme Ct Denies Adoption Rights to Partner in Lesbian Relationship

Photo: Puerto Rico Gay Rights Setback

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The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico ruled Wednesday in a 5-4 decision that a woman may not adopt the biological daughter of her lesbian partner without the latter losing her legal ties to the minor.

The island’s high court issued its ruling in which it confirmed the decision of the Appeals Court following a huge demonstration by some 200,000 people - organizers said - on Monday in San Juan to protect the family and traditional marriage.

The Supreme Court decided upon the case of a 12-year-old girl conceived by artificial insemination and born to one of the members of a lesbian couple, raised by them both and currently living with them. Neither the girl nor the members of the couple were publicly identified.

The court ruled that when a minor is adopted he or she must break all ties with their biological parents so that the adoptive parents may acquire parental guardianship of the child.

In this case, the woman who wanted to adopt the girl is the consensual partner of the biological mother, and the pair were seeking to obtain permission for the adoption without the mother having to give up her ties to her daughter.

The majority opinion, issued by Justice Mildred Pabon Charneco, was that Article 138 of the Civil Code prevents the requested adoption.

Supreme Court president Federico Hernandez Denton, however, dissented from the majority opinion and concluded that the prohibition on the adoption is unconstitutional.

Human rights activist and spokesman for the Puerto Rico Para Tod@s organization, Pedro Julio Serrano, expressed his rejection of the ruling, which he called “disastrous and unconstitutional.”

The high court’s decision comes two days after the huge demonstration in San Juan convened by different Christian denominations in response to the initiatives of several lawmakers from the governing PPD favoring the rights of Puerto Rico’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transsexual - or LGBTT - community.