Ruling Limits Rights on Adoption by Same-sex Couples in Colombia


Contact: Suzanne Trimel, 212-430-6018,

(New York) — A ruling by the Constitutional Court of Colombia has limited the rights of same-sex couples to consensual adoption, which the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) said deprives adopted children in such families of basic rights and blocks adoptions by same-sex couples.

María Mercedes Gómez, Latin America and Caribbean program coordinator for IGLHRC, said: “While we celebrate the ratification of consensual adoption for same-sex couples, there are many diverse families that are already living with adopted children, and they, for now, will continue to live without access to the full enjoyment of their rights because neither of their parents is their biological parent. Therefore, limiting same-sex adoption to consensual adoption, is not only an unjust limitation on the future plans of same-sex families seeking to adopt children, but discriminatory for children who are being deprived of their fundamental rights at this precise moment.”

The ruling by the Constitutional Court of Colombia on Wednesday limited the rights of same-sex couples to consensual adoption—which can only occur when one of the partners is the biological parent of the child. In a tweet sent at 8:07 p.m. (from Bogotá), the court said, “Same-sex couples are only allowed to adopt when the request concerns the biological child of a permanent partner.”

The announcement confirms the decision of SU-617 from 2014 that granted the right of a lesbian to adopt her partner’s biological child. That sentence, now guaranteeing the right in all similar cases, said that the sexual orientation of the couple seeking to adopt cannot be an obstacle to recognizing “the existence of a family arrangement in which the minor, by will of their biological parent, shares their life with their parent’s same-sex partner with whom they share a solid and stable bond, and in which the adult has assumed the obligations and associated responsibilities of the parent-child relationship.”

Colombia Diversa, in its press release stated: “LGBT people can apply for adoption of children as individuals or request adoption to protect their partner’s children… [but one must not forget] that adopted children and biological children have the same rights and one must not discriminate between them.”