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France – gay adoption

Lesbian gets green light to adopt

Article published on the 2009-11-10 Latest update 2009-11-10 12:37 TU

A homosexual couple fought for paid parental leave from work in 2006.(Photo: AFP)

A homosexual couple fought for paid parental leave from work in 2006.
(Photo: AFP)

A homosexual woman, who has seen her request twice rejected, finally received approval to adopt a child from a court in Besançon, eastern France.

School teacher Emmanuelle B. should receive the necessary paperwork within 15 days following Tuesday morning’s decision, capping off a long court battle that has lasted more than 10 years.

Emmanuelle and her partner Laurence R., a school psychologist, have been living together for twenty years, and meet the requirements of seriousness and stability asked of prospective adopters, the judges wrote in their decision.

“The household conditions offered by the demander with regards to family, education and psychology correspond to the needs and the interests of an adopted child,” the court said.

In 1998, Emmanuelle applied to adopt a child and had her request rejected by an administration citing “lack of a paternal figure” as a reason.

Emmanuelle was obliged to apply alone because in France a couple who wishes to adopt must be married – an impossibility for a homosexual pair.

Following the rejection, Emmanuelle took her case to the European Court of Human Rights, which condemned France for sexual discrimination in 2008.

With that victory in hand, she returned to France only to have her adoption refused once again. Tuesday’s verdict was an appeal of that decision.

“It’s good news for this couple, who have fought for years,” said Franck Tanguy, the spokesperson for the French association for gay and lesbian parents.

But the decision isn’t an outright victory for homosexual couples.

“The judge authorised a woman, who made her request to adopt as an individual, not a homosexual couple as such,” he said.