Bulgaria capitals

Bulgarian municipality of Sofia sues over passport of child of same-sex couple – The Sofia Globe

The Municipality of Sofia filed a cassation appeal before the Administrative Court of Sofia against the obligation to issue the birth certificate necessary for a passport for the child of a same-sex couple, despite a decision by the Court of European justice, LGBTQ+ rights organization Deystvie said on June 13.

In this high-profile case, the European Court of Justice ruled on December 14, 2021 that Bulgaria was required to issue a passport to little Sara, a Bulgarian citizen born in Spain. His same-sex parents are a Bulgarian woman, Kalina, and a British woman, Jane.

The European Court said Bulgaria must issue the passport, which would give him the right to move freely within the EU, and that it must reflect the child’s relationship with both mothers.

At the beginning of June 2022, Sarah’s two mothers applied to the consulate in Barcelona for a child’s passport in accordance with the EU decision of 2021. The consulate refused the administrative service.

Deystvie stated that on June 10, 2022, the Municipality of Sofia filed a cassation appeal with the Court of Sofia against the issuance of the documents.

The organization said that the Municipality of Sofia was preventing the issuance of a Bulgarian birth certificate and Bulgarian personal documents and thus hindering the fundamental rights of an EU citizen.

Deystvie, who has been working on the case for more than two and a half years, said: “We will not accept another act of discrimination and deprivation of basic rights of Bulgarian citizens.”

On May 16, 2022, the Sofia Administrative Court had ordered the Pancharevo District of the Municipality of Sofia to issue a birth certificate with both mothers of baby Sara listed as parents.

At the time, Deystvie welcomed the court’s decision, saying it set a precedent for authorities to recognize the rights of children of same-sex parents and for the rights of LGBTI people to family and private life, and that it further promotes equality in society.

The battle began in 2019, when it emerged that Sara was at risk of becoming stateless, even though both of her mothers were listed on the Spanish birth certificate. Spain refused to grant him citizenship because his parents were not Spanish citizens. Although Jane is originally from the UK, she was unable to pass on her citizenship as Sara was born outside the UK. The only option left to Sara was to obtain the Bulgarian nationality transmitted by Kalina.

Kalina, as a mother listed on Sara’s Spanish birth certificate, applied to the Sofia Municipality of Pancharevo district for a Bulgarian birth certificate for her child.

The Municipality of Sofia requested evidence containing information about the origin of the child in relation to his biological mother.

In her application, the applicant stated that she could not and was not obliged to provide such information under any law or regulation in force in the Republic of Bulgaria. As a result, the Municipality of Sofia refused to issue a Bulgarian birth certificate.

The refusal was appealed to the Sofia Administrative Court.

The court, in turn, referred to the Court of Justice of the European Communities for a preliminary ruling on the interpretation of European law as regards the right to free movement and the right to private and family life of Sarah and his mothers.

The European Court of Justice ruled that the Bulgarian authorities were required to issue Sara with an identity card or passport certifying her nationality and indicating her surname in accordance with the birth certificate issued by the Spanish authorities.

Following the decision of the European Court of Justice, the case was referred to the Administrative Court in Sofia so that the court could assess how to apply the decision in the context of Bulgarian law.

In its May decision, the Sofia Administrative Court confirmed Sara’s Bulgarian nationality and obliged the Bulgarian administration to issue a birth certificate listing both mothers as parents.

News of the latest legal action against Bulgarian documentation for baby Sara comes just five days before the Bulgarian capital is set to be the scene of the 15th Sofia Pride, a protest campaign for equal rights for LGBTQI+ people in Bulgaria.

(Photo: Hu Chen/unsplash.com)

Please support The Sofia Globe by clicking the orange button below to sign up and become a patron on patreon.com.

For only three euros per month or the equivalent in other currencies, becoming a patron means supporting independent journalism and accessing exclusive content:

Become a patron!