Parent-child genetic link ‘not required by law’

NAMIBIA already has laws in which no genetic link is required for parent-child relationships to receive official recognition.

The Child Care and Protection Act of 2015 says that when a child is born by artificial insemination to a married woman and man, that child is for all intents and purposes considered the biological child of the couple, even if gift eggs and sperm were used to conceive the child, pointed out the Center for Legal Aid (LAC) in a statement released Tuesday to the media.

ALK also noted that under Namibian adoption law, adopted children are for all purposes regarded as children of their adoptive parents – while there is usually no genetic link between such children and their adoptive parents.

The center’s statement, signed by its director, Toni Hancox, and lawyer Dianne Hubbard, coordinator of ALK’s Sex Discussion and Advertising Project, was released in response to a trial in which on Monday Judge Thomas Masuku rejected a request from a Namibian architect and university. Lecturer Philip Lühl, who asked the Court of Appeal to compel the Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration to issue Namibian travel documents to the twin baby daughters of his and his same-sex partner.

The babies were born in South Africa on March 13 due to a surrogate pregnancy. On their South African birth certificates Lühl and her husband, Mexican citizen Guillermo Delgado, are recorded as the babies’ two parents.

The babies need travel documents to bring to their parents ’home in Namibia.

Interior Minister Frans Kapofi has stated that he wants Lühl to prove that he is the biological father of the twins before he wants to issue them Namibian travel documents.

This is not a requirement that heterosexual parents must fulfill before Namibian travel documents are given to their children, the ALK pointed out in its statement.

The center stated: “The ministry’s suggestion that Namibian citizenship by descent depends on genetic link is simply untrue – and all Namibian parents who have adopted children in Namibia or abroad, or have had children through assisted fertility techniques using donated eggs or sperm in Namibia. or elsewhere, be very worried about such a claim. “

The ALK added that the reality was that Lühl and Delgado’s babies were discriminated against because of their parents ’sex.

The center also commented that the High Court’s judgment was “very disappointing and critical”.

Masuku rejected Lühl’s request after he found that the court would impose jurisdiction on the executive arm of the state if he ordered Kapofi to issue travel documents for the children, while no formal request for such documents had been submitted to the court. Minister of the Interior. .

The ALK commented that in its opinion the court had neglected its main legal duty to protect the best interests of the two children involved. It also said the court did not consider the best interests of the children, as needs to be done under Namibian law and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

It further said the court “made no real analysis” of the best interests of the two babies or its duty to protect those interests.

“At the end of the day, this is not a matter of gay rights, it’s a matter of children’s rights,” the center noted. “The twins are allowed to spend the early days of their lives with both of their loving parents. It is certainly in the best interest of the twins and their older brother that their family be together. “