Costa Rica: Transwoman Mairena is Granted Custody of Her Child


CIPAC/DDHH, a Costa Rican lesbian and gay organization, informed us that on March 24, 2003, transwoman Mairena was granted "provisional custody" of the 9 years old she had been taking care of since he was a baby. "Provisional custody" is the first step in the way to legal adoption of a minor. The National Infancy Patronage (PANI) has stated that Mairena "... provided him food, care, upbringing, education, assistance, recreation, health, clothing, lodging, love and attended to other needs of him that today are considered as rights, fulfilling the role of a good parent".

Based on that resolution, Mairena has already submitted a request to legally adopt the child, before the relevant Family Court.

CIPAC/DDHH and IGLHRC celebrate this decision from the Patronage that, as our Costa Rican colleagues have written "allow us to start writing a new chapter in the process towards recognition of same sex couples in Costa Rica, based on the categorization of 'extended family' employed by the Patronage to define the relationship between a transperson and her son...".

CIPAC/DDHH and IGLHRC wish to thank all those who wrote letters in support of Mairena. We know that your contribution helped to make a difference and to achieve this result that we are celebrating today.

No further action is required, for the moment. If you wish to congratulate Mairena and CIPAC/DDHH, please write to

For further information, please see our Action Alert "COSTA RICA: DEFEND CHILD CUSTODY RIGHT OF TRANS WOMAN" issued on February 21, 2003.