In Namibia, same-sex couple fight for children’s citizenship

Published: 16/Apr/2021
Source: Reuters

When Namibian Phillip Lühl and his Mexican husband Guillermo Delgado decided to start a family, they did not realise how difficult it would be.

The same-sex couple are battling to obtain Namibian citizenship for their 2-year-old son, while their one-month-old twin daughters are stuck in South Africa because Namibian authorities want Lühl to show genetic proof he is the father before providing them with travel documents.

Lühl said that while the couple – married in South Africa – never experienced any discrimination in Namibia, their predicament began after their son was born in 2019 via a surrogate in South Africa.

“That was really the moment where things started to get complicated,” Lühl told Reuters. “We applied for citizenship but were told he can only get citizenship if we can prove a genetic link to myself as a Namibian father.”

“We rejected the notion that a genetic link or DNA test will prove my parentage,” he said, adding there was no basis in Namibian law nor in the constitution that parentage is defined by genetic link.

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Themes: Acquisition by children, Discrimination, Gender, Birth Registration
Regions: Namibia
Year: 2021